A seven-month-old is fighting for her life after being branded 100 times with a red hot nail by a self-styled ‘healer’.

Footage of the unnamed child’s agonising scars and injuries outraged health campaigners across India, where the ritual is uses as a traditional healing method, reports The Mirror.

Mum Ranjita Paraja took her baby to a village healer in Banaguda, in eastern India, when a persistent cough and cold refused to go.

The healer used what is seen in rural communities as a traditional ‘cure’ for sick babies where they are repeatedly burned with a hot iron nail.

Healers claim it draws out the illness.

But within days the infant was critically ill with pneumonia after the burns got infected.

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Paediatrician Sandeep Tripathy, from Jeypore Hospital, said: “The child was branded eight days back, and has severe pneumonia now.”

He added: “She had been suffering from measles, but post branding, there is infection at the branding points.

“The treatment is going on but the condition is very critical.

“If her condition deteriorates, she will be referred to Koraput Hospital for ICU treatment.”

Health officials say campaigns to eradicate harmful traditional healing methods find it hard to penetrate rural communities.

Specialist Anup Kumar Ghosh said: “It is very difficult to put a complete end to a practise like branding.

“Though we are creating awareness among people against the menace of branding, it will take some time.

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  • oh you poor little darling :(


  • How very sad. Poor little Bub enduring this pain. I understand that different cultures have different beliefs etc but inflicting this much pain on a defenceless baby would surely be unacceptable globally. I hope it raises awareness and local authorities prevent it from happening again.


  • This also makes people aware of customs people follow in other countries.
    It is articles like this that sometimes encourage people to visit the countries to see if they can help the people understand there is safer alternatives and how to administer them. Some missions go this when they become aware of such circumstances


  • That poor baby. I know she’s not out of the woods yet but I’m praying for her. The pain she must have gone through


  • oh my gosh, this is so distressing. I hope she will be ok.


  • I’m sorry but the start of this made me feel physically sick and I was unable to read the entire article.


  • Reading every ones comments, some say that how can a mother let someone do this, the mother should have more sense etc.. Really, now if you didn’t go to school, lived in a remote region, all your teaching comes from the village people, your family, you would not question it. The mother would be feeling awful that the the healing did not work. When I read articles like this, I read where the person comes from, as this way I know that they are doing things, not because of habit, but it is how they are taught.. we are so lucky that we do know that these rituals do not help…


  • This always seems to be the case in remote communities where there is no modern form of communication. Health professionals need to go to these places and actually talk to people in these communities about the effects of using these supposed ‘healers,’ who have medical training!


  • Everywhere around the world you can find rural tribes believing in traditional rituals to heal and treat the sick. It has it’s beautiful sites but also it’s negative sites like in this case.
    Poor baby girl ! Hope she’ll be ok.


  • That poor little girl.
    I hope she is going to be ok


  • traditions can be very hard to break especially in small villages, poor bub :(


  • That poor bub, all those poor children, and those stupid people who would believe such rubbish!!!!! Far out


  • Absolutely bloody irresponsible practice that should have gone out with the ark! Barbaric and irrational. Enough said!


  • Incredible! What a horrendous belief this is! I hope the little girl will recover completely from this terrible abuse!


  • The poor little girl,sound’s like torture! Wishing her all the best.


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