Ranchi, August 8: In a shocking incident of civic apathy, a man from Jharkhand’s Latehar district was forced to carry the dead body of his newborn to his village on foot due to unavailability of a hearse at a government hospital. The family could not afford a private vehicle because of poverty. According to a report published in Hindustan Times, on Tuesday morning, Manoj admitted his pregnant wife Reema Devi at government community health centre in Manika where she delivered a stillborn boy. The hospital handed over the body of the child to the family without arranging for an ambulance. Auratand Banjhipokhar, the village of Bhuian is eight kilometres away from the hospital.
According to the report, the hospital authorities denied an ambulance stating it could not be availed for carrying a corpse. Bhuiyan while speaking to Hindustan Times, said, “I had no option other than to cover the eight-kilometre distance to my village with the body of my child on foot as I had already spent the money I borrowed for bringing my wife to the hospital.” The medical officer Dr Raju Kachhap said that the family demanded a vehicle for transporting the body of the infant at the earliest, but as per rule the ambulance service cannot be used for transporting corpse.
Bhuiyan also alleged that the services of Mamta Vahan for shifting expecting woman to the hospital were also not provided to them. Last year, Dana Manjhi, a labourer from Odisha trekked for 10 km, carrying the dead body of his wife. In a similar incident last year, a man from Kaushambi, Uttar Pradesh carried a dead body and in Jharkhand, a couple carried a man’s body on foot in Chatra. In June this year reports surfaced where a lady patient with a broken leg was dragged with the help of a bedsheet by her relatives, allegedly due to unavailability of a stretcher at a government hospital in Maharashtra's Nanded.