Koraput: The Nabarangpur district administration has provided training to 4,375 traditional healers against branding children to cure their ailments under the programme ‘Jyoti’.
“During our campaign the traditional healers were asked to inform the nearest ASHA or anganwadi worker to take the child to the nearest health centre,” said collector (Nabarangpur) Rasmita Panda.
With a spurt in such incidents, the district administration had launched Jyoti on February 28 to generate awareness among the tribal healers.
Apart from the tribal healers, the administration also sensitized about the ill-effects of branding children to over 4,000 auxiliary nurse midwives (ANMs), anganwadi workers, panchayat representatives, local leaders and rural youth club members during the first phase of Jyoti.
The healers were also made aware of the legal actions they could face for branding children, the collector said.
Officials said awareness among locals was created through special audio cassettes prepared on the issue and distribution of posters and pamphlets in rural areas, including weekly markets.
“Apart from our field staff, we had roped in social campaigners for the programme and are hopeful of positive results in the coming days. The second phase of the programme will start from June,” she said.
In January and February, at least three children had died at hospitals while being treated after being branded for their ailments in the district. Also, over 30 children, admitted to various hospitals, were cured after getting serious by branding.