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Poor mortuary worker but rich at heart

world Updated: Jul 04, 2010 15:31 IST

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A junior employee at a mortuary in western Sri Lanka won accolades after he handed Rs 28,000 recovered from a body of a person to the authorities.

Without waiting for any reward for his honesty the mortuary worker, WA Botheju, left home after his duty even as the relatives of the deceased looked for him to express their gratitude.

The employee of the mortuary of Ragama Hospital came in for much praise on Friday when he handed over to his superiors (Sri Lankan) Rs 28,000 he had found on a body brought there.

Forty nine-year-old Nishantha Kumara, a businessman collapsed and died on that day as he was going to Kadugannawa from his home in Matara when he suffered a fatal heart attack near Hunupitiya.

At the Ragama Hospital OPD, Kumara was pronounced dead and his body was transferred to the morgue. At the morgue Kumara's identity card was recovered and further checks by the good samaritan revealed Rs 28,000 hidden in a false pocket.

Botheju dutifully returned the money and the card to Renuka Perera, the duty nurse of the OPD at the hospital, the Nation newspaper reported on Sunday.

Later when the dead person's relatives came to claim the body they tried to locate the honest worker to thank him. However, he had gone off duty by then, it said.

They were heard saying that any other person could have been inclined to stay around for a reward for the honesty.