Suffering from a congenital skin disorder, the seven-year-old was forced to undergo a ‘purification’ ritual to be accepted by superstitious villagers who had socially ostracised his family.
Published: 28th January 2021 09:37 AM
BERHAMPUR: In a shocking incident, minor Dalit boy of a village under Jagannath Prasad block who suffered from a congenital skin disorder was forced to undergo a ‘purification’ ritual to be accepted by superstitious villagers who had socially ostracised his family.
What’s even more appalling, the family even had to cough up Rs 10,000 for being accepted back into Baghua village where it occured two weeks back. The incident came to the fore on Wednesday. The seven-year-old boy has been suffering from a skin condition – congenital nevomelanocytic nevus (CNN) – commonly known as congenital hairy nevus which leads to unusual growth of dark hairy patches all over the body.
However, due to lack of follow-up treatment, boils appeared on the operated skin portions and turned septic as his family could not afford his medication. Trouble surfaced two weeks back when the family faced social ostracisation by fellow villagers who claimed that the boy is suffering from a disease that is contagious, “inauspicious” and could affect health of others.
While the family pleaded for social acceptance, the superstitious villagers insisted on the boy’s ‘purification’ by being tonsured followed by a ritual and community feast. His father, Ram Chandra Naik, a daily wager, had to pay Rs 10,000 to appease the villagers and be accepted into the community.
Ganjam Collector Vijay Amruta Kulange said that the boy’s parents met the Bhanjanagar sub collector on Monday. “A sum of Rs 10,000 from the Red Cross Fund was sanctioned to them. The sub collector has instructed the tehsildar and the IIC to inquire into the ostracisation incident on Thursday,” he said.