Kids served liquor in Odisha village to ‘prevent’ Covid infection

The function where liquor was served to children was held about two weeks ago in a Odisha village.
The district official has started an investigation in the incident where tribal children were given home brewed liquor to drink as remedy for coronavirus.(AP Photo/Representative)
The district official has started an investigation in the incident where tribal children were given home brewed liquor to drink as remedy for coronavirus.(AP Photo/Representative)
Updated on Jul 21, 2020 09:30 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar | By Debabrata Mohanty | Posted by Abhinav Sahay

In a bizarre move, people in a tribal-dominated village of Odisha’s Malkangiri district served liquor brewed from a tree to about a dozen children in the age group of 10-12 years believing that it would keep Coronavirus at bay.

Villagers in Malkangiri said the children were served the fermented sap of the Salapa tree at a marriage function of one Sana Muchaki of Pasranpalli village under Padia block two weeks ago.

Sukha Kabasi of Tekguda village who attended the marriage function said the children were served the fermented sap, a heady brew, after some village elders advised the same.

“The elders said having Salapa would keep Coronavirus at bay. Though elders normally take Salapa brew, it is not given to children,” said Kabasi.

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Though the incident happened 2 weeks ago, it became public after the video of the incident went viral today. In the video, the children and villagers were also found not following the Covid-19 guidelines like wearing mask and maintaining social distancing.

District child protection officer Narayan Das said he took up the issue with the village elders as children should not be served any liquor. “Serving liquor to children in the name of tradition or Covid is not advisable,” said Das. The excise department has also started an investigation into the incident.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2021