Advertisement
Friday, Oct 22, 2021
Outlook.com

Nutrition Warriors | Hot Iron In A Child's Belly -- A District Collector's Fight Against Superstition In A MP District

A district collector takes it upon himself to rid the region of a degrading practice visited upon sick children—the scourge of daagna

Nutrition Warriors | Hot Iron In A Child's Belly -- A District Collector's Fight Against Superstition In A MP District
Photograph by Jitender Gupta
Nutrition Warriors | Hot Iron In A Child's Belly -- A District Collector's Fight Against Superstition In A MP District
outlookindia.com
2020-01-10T15:53:51+05:30

Umaria, Madhya Pradesh, goes to sleep at 7 pm. Or the roads give that impression—quiet and enchantingly deserted. The young (it was carved out of Shahdol in 1998) and small district is also home to Bandhavgarh National Park.

Umaria also has a prevalent malpractice, called daagna, which has its roots in superstition. Under this, village elders or local healers singe a sick child’s belly with hot iron, a piece of bangle, neem wood, or even the sharp end of a sickle. “Children are usually branded when they suffer from pneumonia, when the respiration rate goes up and chest in-drawing happens. Village folks believe it will bring relief, but that’s superstition. Plus, there’s a risk of the wound getting infected,” says Chandra Pal Shakya, a paediatrician at Umaria’s district hospital.

Learning of this when he took over as district collector in March 2019, Swarochish Somavanshi decided to gauge its extent. He told officials to rec­ord instances of daagna along with other indicators like weight, height etc in the...

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Global Hunger Index Might Not Be Flawless But India Still Needs To Take It As Warning

Global Hunger Index Might Not Be Flawless But India Still Needs To Take It As Warning

The Centre has reacted angrily at the new Global Hunger Index, but experts say it should plug loopholes in the food delivery system.

Didi's 2-Day Goa Trip Not A 'Vacation' As TMC Pitches For 'Gonychi Navi Sakal'

Didi's 2-Day Goa Trip Not A 'Vacation' As TMC Pitches For 'Gonychi Navi Sakal'

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's visit comes as the TMC appoints former Goa chief minister Luizinho Faleiro as a national vice president.

'Suspended' Old Trafford Test Rescheduled To July 2022

'Suspended' Old Trafford Test Rescheduled To July 2022

ECB announced that the game has been moved to Edgbaston and will be part of India's white-ball tour. The match will begin on July 1.

100 Crore Shots: How Modi Govt Scored Its Vaccination Goal In 280 Days

100 Crore Shots: How Modi Govt Scored Its Vaccination Goal In 280 Days

Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the feat as 'a journey from anxiety to assurance' that has made India stronger.

Advertisement