Denied hearse, tribal man, wife carry brother’s body on foot in Jharkhand
When the family insisted on being provided an ambulance, they were allegedly asked to pay Rs 4,000. Unable to shell out the amount, Lakshman decided to carry the body.india Updated: Jul 10, 2017 17:51 IST
Unable to pay for a hearse vehicle, a tribal man carried his brother’s body on foot with the help of his wife, even as his inconsolable sister-in-law followed, in Jharkhand’s Chatra district on Sunday.
Lakshman Oraon, of Shidpa village, had brought his brother Rajendra, who suffered a snake-bite, to the district’s Sadar hospital in the morning.
Doctors attending to Rajendra asked his kin to buy the necessary medicines from outside, but Lakshman failed and this resulted in his brother’s death at around 8.30 am, half an hour after being brought.
Doctors then informed the police. After post mortem, the body was handed over to the family four hours later but no arrangement was made for transporting it to Oraons’ village, Shidpa, 40 km from the hospital.
When the family insisted on being provided an ambulance, they were allegedly asked to pay Rs 4,000. Unable to shell out the amount, Lakshman decided to carry the body.
He and his wife Sita Devi, who had tied Rajendra’s infant son to her back, lifted the body and started off towards the market as Rajendra’s inconsolable wife Sunita Devi followed, wailing.
They could hardly manage to move a hundred feet in this manner when locals intervened and informed the civil administration officials who later arranged for an ambulance.
Taking umbrage to the incident, Jharkhand chief minister Raghubar Das ordered immediate suspension of the deputy superintendent of Sadar hospital, Dr Krishna Kumar, and hospital manager, Dr Nishant Kumar and ordered a probe into the non-availability of medicines.
Several similar incidents have been reported across the country over a year, especially in Odisha where a Kalahandi tribal was forced to carry his wife’s body on his shoulders for about 10 km.
The incident triggered national outrage forcing the Naveen Patnaik government to launch a hearse vehicle scheme, Mahaprayan. But, despite the scheme, similar incidents are being reported from the state.
Meanwhile, the acting-civil surgeon of Chatra Sadar hospital, Dr Shyamnandan Singh, who also treated the deceased, said, “The family did not consult me for ambulance. Once I came to know about it, it was immediately provided to them.”