It’s Odisha again. A villager in the eastern state’s Angul district walked for more than 15 kilometres carrying his dead daughter on his shoulder after failing to get a hearse van.
The man, identified as Gati Dhibar, of Pechamundi village, was forced into the ordeal after his five-year-old daughter died at the Palalahada Community Health Centre (CHC) in Angul.
The incident brings back memories of Dana Majhi, who walked for around 10 kilometres carrying his dead wife on his shoulders, triggering nationwide outrage last year.
In August, the impoverished Majhi was forced to walk after his pleas for an ambulance or a hearse failed to melt the heart of officials at the district hospital in Bhawanipatna. One of his sobbing daughters accompanied him till startled bystanders alerted a local TV journalist.
The images and video of Majhi went viral and help poured in from across the world. But on the ground, little appears to have changed.
District collector Anil Kumar Samal said an explanation had been sought from the sub-divisional medical officer and assured that appropriate action would be taken.
“Following dead body carrying incident in Palalahada, the sub-collector visited the spot and spoke to the family members of the deceased. On the basis of the report, security guard and junior hospital manager has been suspended. We shall ensure nothing undignified happens with any dead body,” Samal added.