After reports a tribal man forced to walk 10 km with his wife’s body in Odisha’s Kalahandi district, chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday launched a a free hearse van scheme for taking a body from the hospital to the deceased house.
The ‘scheme called Mahaprayan’, launched in Mahanga block of Cuttack district, would facilitate free transportation of bodies from government hospitals to residence of the deceased. The mortuary vans will be parked at all district headquarter hospitals and three medical college-cum-hospitals in the state.
Mahaprayan scheme was launched keeping in view the success of Harischandra Yojana, under which poor people get financial assistance for cremation.
On Wednesday, Dana Manjhi, a triabl man from Thuamul Rampur block of Kalahandi district was forced to carry the body of his wife on his shoulders as the hospital authorities did not provide him a mortuary van or an ambulance. The incident occurred at Bhawanipatna district headquarters hospital where his 42-year-old wife Amang Dei was being treated for tuberculosis.
Despite all his efforts, Manjhi could not get any help from the hospital authorities. Thus, he wrapped his wife’s body in a cloth and started walking to his village Melghara in Rampur block, about 60km from Bhawanipatna.
“The hospital authorities said that there are no vehicles. I pleaded with them saying I am a poor person and cannot afford a vehicle to carry my wife’s body. Despite repeated requests, they said they cannot offer me any help,” Manjhi told a local TV channel.
In another shocking incident, the body of a 70-year-old woman who jumped off a speeding train near Soro railway station in Balasore district, was carried by two daily wage earners since the police failed to get a mortuary van to carry the body to the hospital for postmortem.
Witnesses say the labourers broke the legs of the body, assembled it into a heap and then carried it strung across a bamboo pole.
(With agency inputs)