Less than a month after a tribal man, Dana Majhi, had to walk 12 kilometres with his wife’s body on his shoulders to reach his home from Kalahandi hospital, family members of another tribal woman, who died at Jajpur District Hospital, had to take her body in a trolley-rickshaw to her village on Saturday.
Pana Tirika, a 65-year-old tribal, was admitted to the hospital after she complained of stomach pain. As her condition turned critical, the doctors referred her to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack, but she died soon.
Though the state government had last month launched the free hearse van service called Mahaprayana, there was reportedly no vehicle available at Jajpur District Hospital. There was also no ambulance available on Saturday due to Vishwakarma puja.
Some touts near the hospital reportedly demanded exorbitant amount of money from the family to carry the body to the village Ankula, 4 km away. Finding no other way, the dead woman’s son, Guna Tirika, got a trolley rickshaw on which he loaded her body and cycled all the way to his village.
Jajpur Chief District Medical Officer Phanindra Panigrahi could not be reached for his comment.