Bhanjanagar: In an ordeal eerily similar to that of Dana Majhi episode, a man with the help of another had to carry his mother’s body on a sling hung from a pole due to non-availability of a hearse/ambulance at the Community Health Centre (CHC) in Soroda in Odisha’s Ganjam district today.
The incident has exposed the bitter truth of the sorry state of welfare schemes like ‘Mahaprayan’ in the state.
According to reports, Parbati Nayak, a woman from Sorishapalli village under Sorada block was admitted to the CHC three days back following an asthma attack.
However, she was declared dead by the attending doctors while undergoing treatment in the forenoon today.
The deceased’s son Sitaram Nayak allegedly requested the CHC authorities for a hearse or an ambulance and waited for over two hours to carry his dead mother to their village.
Though no help was extended to him by the hospital authorities, he was rather allegedly asked to vacate the hospital premises with the body of his dead mother sooner the better.
“They said there is no vehicle available,” said a grief-stricken Sitaram.
As a result of which Sitaram with the help of another man carried his mother’s body on their shoulders all the way to his village hanging from a pole on two slings wrapped in a sheet of polythene.
On the other hand, Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO), Ganjam has refuted the charges while claiming that the deceased’s son was asked to wait for a while since the ambulance was to arrive from Bhanjanagar but he left for his village with the body without waiting.
“Mahaprayan vehicle is kept at Bhanjanagar. Perhaps as the Mahaprayan vehicle was engaged, while the Medical Officer was arranging a private vehicle to carry the dead to their village, the deceased’s son left with his mother’s body.
After the matter came to light, BJP workers blocked the road at Panchanan Chhak in protest against the incident.
However, they vacated the blockade after persuasion by the local Tehsildar and police.
It may be recalled here that the Naveen Patnaik government had launched the ‘Mahaprayan’ scheme in August last year.
The repeated instances of poor people physically carrying bodies of their loved ones certainly raise questions on the implementation of the scheme at the grassroots level.