In a shocking incident, a man from Odisha was forced to carry the dead body of his wife for more than 10 kms as he did not have money to afford a hearse van and hospital authorities did not offer him a vehicle or an ambulance.
The tribal man, Dana Manjhi, said that he had no other option, but to carry the body from the hospital as the district hospital authorities allegedly refused to arrange for a vehicle to transport his wife's body to his village. Manjhi was seen walking, carrying the dead body on his shoulder, while his teenage daughter walked alongside him sobbing.
Manjhi said that seeing no other option, he wrapped his wife Amangadei's body in old sheets from the hospital bed in Bhawanipatna town on Wednesday morning and set on the journey to his village. Manjhi's house was in Melghar village in Kalahandi's Thuamul Rampur block, which is about 60 km away from the hospital.
Amangadei succumbed to tuberculosis on early Wednesday morning. The treatment cost a lot for Manjhi and he was left with no money. Considering the dire situation, he requested the hospital authorities to arrange for a vehicle to transport his wife's body.
"I requested everyone, but no one listened. What option did I have other than carrying her," Manjhi told The Indian Express.
However, after he had walked with the body for more than 10 km, some youth saw him and informed the local officials. An ambulance was soon arranged and sent to Manjhi for transporting the body to Melghar village.
When contacted, the Kalahandi district collector Brunha D said that Manjhi did not wait for the ambulance which was being arranged. She said that the authorities would have sent the body in a vehicle only if he had waited. The official also added that Manjhi has been sanctioned Rs 2,000 from the state government's funeral assistance scheme and an additional Rs 10,000 from the District Red Cross Fund.