Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jun 3:
Kuber Nayak, a frail, 55-year-old man, makes only Rs 750 a month for his rather thankless job of retrieving bodies and taking them to Capital Hospital, the premier government hospital in Odisha’s capital city. It is a job very few would do even if they are paid five times that money. But Kuber has no regrets.
Every time information reaches Mancheswar Police Station of Odisha Capital about an unnatural death, whether murder, suicide or accident, cops look around for this man and he happily obliges, never letting them down. He says he has so far dealt with more than 600 corpses.
Irrespective of the age, gender, cause of death or condition of the corpse, Kuber discharges his duty commendable sincerity wading through official procedure like autopsy and all. While some are kind enough to pay him a few bucks for the service, many do not. But Kuber is not the kind who would complain.
No matter how bad the condition of the corpse is, Kuber deals with it with his bare hands.
The man, who hails from Saragada village of Nayagarh district, has been living with his wife, two sons and a daughter in Jharana Sahi in Mancheswar police limits for decades now.
He remembers starting his temporary job as a sweeper in Mancheswar Police Station on August 28, 1991 for a meagre Rs 5 a month. Nearly two decades and half later, his take home is still Rs 750: too little for the round-the-clock job he does. Yet, he has no regrets.
“My job is to attend to corpses and take them to hospitals. I live here and sleep under the hi-max light of the old police station. I go home only to change. I have attended to over 600 cadavers in my career. My work gives me satisfaction and my family supports me. I have got no regrets and will continue to do this service as long as I can,” says Kuber.
The grossly underpaid humble man, however, is way too meek to ask his bosses for a pay hike or walk up to the local corporator to get him an old age pension.
“I have got no one to lobby for me. It’s little embarrassing to ask for old age allowance myself. I am self dependent and happy with what God has given me,” he adds without any discontent.
Despite his old age, poverty and adverse conditions, he chooses to be self-dependent and leads a dignified life while being helpful to others and sets high standards for others to follow.