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Daughters carry dead mother for last rites in Odisha

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bargarh, April 5:

In a beacon call for breaking of obsolete traditions, two daughters belonging to the Baipalli village in Bargarh district of Odisha carried the body of their 70-year-old mother to the funeral ground for last rites.

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They were forced to take this drastic step after a futile wait of nine hours, as no man in the village came forward to carry the dead woman.

The incident which happened in Sohela block yesterday highlights the grim tale of social abandonment and courage.

Seventy-year-old, Dei Pradhan’s husband had left the village 15 years ago affected with leprosy.  After he passed away, Dei lived with her two daughters, Chandrakanti  (35) and Rosy (30). After Chandrakanti got married, Rosy and her mother lived together.

Due to natural causes, Dei passed away at 9 am in the morning on Monday. The body kept lying on their veranda  from 9 am in the morning  to 5 pm in the evening . But, sadly no one came forward to carry the body to the village funeral ghat.

Notably, as per Hindu tradition, a dead body needs to be carried for last rites by four males. Woman are not allowed to carry the body, nor give fire to the pyre.

Ultimately, with the support of some social workers,  both the sisters along with the elder sister’s husband carried the body for last rites to the village funeral ground.