It seems like the Odisha Government has not learnt from the past as yet another shocking incident evoking memories of Dana Majhi episode has come to fore. After the Dana Majhi episode, earlier last year, a aggrieved father, in Orissa had to carry the dead body of his five-year old daughter for 15 kms after he failed to get hearse service.
The man identified, as Gati Dhibar, of Pechamundi village walked around 15 kilometress carrying his five-year old daughter, who died at the Palahada Community Health (CHC) in Angul. The ordeal of Dhibhar is similar to Dana Majhi, a man who carried his dead wife on shoulder for 13 kilometres. Majhi’s episode had drawn huge flak and hogged the headlines with the state government facing nationwide backlash.
However, with a video of the unfortunate father carrying her dead daughter going viral on social networking sites, the district collector Anil Kumar Samal had confirmed that the security guard and the junior hospital manager had been suspended. As per the reports, a day after her admission Sumi was declared dead by doctors, but the authorities at the hospital took no further responsibility. The father, Gati Dhibar, didn’t know about the state government free hearse service and with no money to pay, he was ordered to take the body of her daughter away. Helpless Gati then didn’t have any option but to carry his daughter’s body for 15 kilometres up to his village where last rites were performed.
While expressing grief over the tragic incident, Mr. Anil, said an explanation has been sought from the SDMO and assured that appropriate action would be taken. “Following dead body carrying incident in Palahada, 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”.
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.
Despite Naveen Patnaik government’s claim of providing free hearse service under the ‘Mahaprayan’ scheme, many poor people in Odisha had reported about the denial of service. The repeated instance of poor people carrying their loved ones bodies raise some repeated questions about the scheme and its implementation. Experts believe that due to repeated incidents like this the ‘Mahaprayan’ scheme is yet to make its way to poor people in Odisha.
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