A 53-year-old beggar suffering from leprosy was forced to push a cart carrying his dead wife’s body for more than 80 kilometres and 24 hours in Telangana because he didn’t have the money a local hospital demanded for an ambulance.
Ramulu eked out a livelihood begging near a temple in Hyderabad. His 46-year-old wife, Kavitha, who was also suffering from leprosy, died of prolonged illness on Friday evening.
He sought the help of a local hospital to arrange for an ambulance to take her body to their native village Maikod village of Sangareddy district, about 100 km away from Hyderabad, for the last rites, but the hospital authorities demanded Rs 5,000, sources said.
Ramulu couldn’t afford the money and loaded Kavitha’s body in the same cart they used for moving from place to place for begging, and started walking with it.
But in the darkness, he lost his way and reached Vikarabad town, about 80 km away on Saturday evening, local residents said.
As he had already walked the whole day, he could not move further and started crying on the road side, begging for money.
Some locals, who heard his story, brought it to the notice of Vikarabad town sub-inspector of police Ravi.
The police, with the help of an advocate Ramesh Kumar, arranged an ambulance from the local Swami Vivekananda Trust and ensured that Ramulu along with the body of his wife was taken to his village in Sangareddy district. The cremation took place on Sunday morning.
The incident comes a few months after the nation was outraged over the case of an Odisha man who was forced to carry his wife’s dead body for miles. Dana Majhi, a resident of Kalahandi district in Odisha, carried his deceased wife Amang Dei’s body on his shoulders and walked for 10 km, as he could not afford to pay for ambulance.