Superstitions reign supreme in tribal hamlets in Odisha’s Malkangiri district
Silence greets visitors at the Potrel and Usakapalli hamlets in Korukonda block of Odisha’s Malkangiri district. These hamlets border Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. After 24 children aged below five died of a disease suspected to be Japanese encephalitis in less than two months, tribal people — mostly the primitive Koyas — are under the grip of fear of “evil spirits.” They are exposed to poor sanitary conditions as their houses are located near cow and pig sheds. Despite that they believe that these spirits are responsible for snatching away the lives of their young.