Saturday, January 21, 2012

NHRC notice to Gujarat on branding of children

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notice to the Gujarat government on alleged branding of children with hot metals in Kutch and Rajkot districts.

The notice came after NHRC took suo motu cognisance of a media report alleging that children in Vagad region of Kutch district and some remote parts of Rajkot district in Gujarat were branded with iron rods, heated nails, wires and incense sticks in the belief that this would cure them of their afflictions and diseases.

Most of the victims of this practice are children up to 15, the NHRC said quoting reports.

The Commission observed that the contents of the press report, if, true, raised a serious issue of violation of human rights of children.

Report sought

“A notice has been issued to the Chief Secretary, the government of Gujarat calling for a report. He has been asked to inform where such inhuman custom is prevalent in the State and what remedial steps have been taken by the administration to stop it,” an NHRC spokesperson said.

According to the media report, the spokesperson said, “this inhuman and cruel medieval custom of branding a child is prevalent in this region for ages.”

‘Permanent scars'

“A child already suffering from ailments is subjected to branding more than once which only increases its pain. This practice leaves permanent physical and psychological scars on their young minds,” he added. — PTI


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