Indonesian authorities are struggling to crack down on a dangerous trend among people too poor to afford medical treatment: lying on railways tracks in the belief that the electric current cures illness.

Dozens turn up in Rawa Buaya every day, enticed by a rumour about a man paralysed by a stroke who went to the tracks to kill himself, but found he was cured. Authorities have threatened penalties of up to three months in prison or heavy fines – to no avail.

"I want to be cured, so I have to come back," said stroke victim Hadi Winoto, 50.