Patna, June 5: There seems to be no end to the trauma of family members of deceased in the country. First we saw the shocking images of Odisha tribal man Dana Majhi carrying his wife's body on shoulder after hospital denied any help.
The tribal farmer with the body walked several kilometers to reach his village to perform his wife's last rites. The incident happened last year. Since then similar episodes were reported from across the country on a regular interval.
Because of hospitals' apathy, several family members were forced to carry the bodies of their loved ones either on their shoulders, bicycles or motorcycles. The latest such case has been reported from Purnia, Bihar.
Like Dana, Shankar Sah (60) was forced to carry his wife Susheela Devi's (50) body on a motorcycle to reach his home and perform her last rites. The deceased breathed her last at the Purnia Sadar Hospital on Friday.
In spite of Shankar and his son Pappu's (32) repeated request to the hospital authorities to provide a mortuary van to carry the body home, no help came their way. Moreover, the poor father-son duo, who works as labourers in Punjab, can't afford the high fare of a private vehicle.
So, the father and son carried Susheela's body on a motorcycle. While Pappu rode the bike, Shankar held his wife's body as a pillion rider.
The image of Shankar, Pappu and Susheela tells the reality of India where medical tourism is thriving as foreigners come to access healthcare facilities in the country and the natives in small towns and villages are denied basic amenities.
Susheela was suffering from heart disease and tuberculosis, Shankar told ANI.
"After the death of my wife I was told to take away the body and when I requested the medical staff on duty for a vehicle to carry it back to my village, they told me to arrange for it on my own," added Shankar.
Then Shankar approached a driver of a private ambulance, who demanded Rs. 1,500 from him. The fare was too high for him to pay, said Shankar.
As usual, the authorities ordered a probe into the matter after it came to light.
"It is a very unfortunate incident but no mortuary van is available at the Sadar Hospital, at present, as the one it had is not functional. So, everyone has to arrange one on his own," said Purnia civil surgeon MM Wasim.