Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today said the news of a tribal man, Dana Manjhi, forced to walk about 12 km with his wife’s body in the state’s Kalahandi district was “extremely distressing” for him and the state government has launched an enquiry into the incident. “The incident was extremely distressing,” ANI reported him as saying. He added: “We are enquiring into the matter and taking steps to have ambulances to help people bring the bodies home from hospitals.”
Earlier, the Kalahandi district administration had also launched an enquiry into the incident. However, the report submitted on Thursday evening gave a clean chit to the staff of the hospital where the tribal man’s wife had died of tuberculosis on Wednesday. The video of the Dana Majhi carrying his dead wife on shoulders and a sobbing daughter walking alongside sparked an outrage across the country, much to the embarrassment of the state government. Patnaik later launched a free hearse/ambulance van scheme called Mahaprayan. It will be operational in all 30 districts of the state and three medical colleges.
Several people in the state are forced to carry their dead relatives themselves or on slings in the absence of ambulance across the state. In another similar incident on Thursday, some hospital workers in Balasore district broke the bones of a woman’s body before wrapping it in a sheet and slinging it on a bamboo pole in Balasore due to unavailability of an ambulance, The Indian Express (IE) reported. The woman,
The woman, Salamani Behera, 80, had died after she was run over by a goods train near Soro railway station on Wednesday morning. Her body was taken to Soro Community Health Centre (CHC). The Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel reached the CHC only around 12 hours after they were informed. The body had to be taken to Balasore for post-mortem but there was no ambulance.