Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Tikiri, Oct 3:
Wonder if anything can be more disturbing a scene than poor parents waiting at a railway station for a free ride to carry their dead son in a train to reach their home since they didn’t have the money to hire a vehicle to carry their dead.
Such was the scene at the Tikiri railway station in Odisha’s tribal-dominated Rayagada district on Friday.
Ignorant and poor Parsu Majhi of Rauli village in Sankarada panchayat under Kashipur block in the district had taken his son Samdu (12), a student of class IV to a witch doctor at Tikiri for treatment since the child was suffering from ‘bata jwara’ or rheumatic fever. The witch doctor promising to cure Samdu of the disease conducted some pujas and offered him some herbs. After consuming the herbs, Samdu started vomiting and died a little while later.
With Samdu’s death, the witch doctor asked the bereaved parents to leave the place sooner the better and fled.
With no money left with them, Parsu and his wife had no better option than boarding the local train with their dead son without ticket to reach their home. The couple didn’t have the money to hire vehicle to carry the body of their 12-year-old dead son.
The incident raises several questions on the role of ASHA workers, the functioning of NRHM and the Niramaya yojana of the government.