Authorities in Jharkhand and Ranchi Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) swung into action after a picture of a woman – reportedly a patient there – eating food from the floor, surfaced.
The issue came to light when the woman, Munni Devi, was spotted by BJP’s Ranchi city unit president Manoj Mishra while he was visiting someone at the orthopedic ward of the hospital.
Chief Minister Raghubar Das immediately took notice of it and ordered an inquiry following which a contract employee at the hospital Chandra Mani Prasad – who served food to the woman – was sacked.
However, just a couple of days after the incident, local newspapers quoted Prasad as saying that he was just trying to help the woman and he was punished for doing so. According to a Jagran report, Prasad claims that the woman was staying unattended at the hospital premises for the last 15 days and he was serving her food for over a week out of pity.
He also says that the woman was mentally unsound and used to discard the plate and eat the food off the floor even when he served it to her on paper or plastic. Narrating what happened on that day, Prasad says that he had served food to Munni Devi in his own plate but she threw the plate away.
Earlier, the diet-in-charge at RIMS hospital had told Indian Express that Munni Devi was not a registered patient and there was no provision of providing food or utensils to such people. A senior nurse also said that people usually try to hand around at the hospital premises to get free food.
Meanwhile, Jharkhand High Court has also taken cognizance of the entire episode and issued notices to the chief secretary, principal secretary (health) and director (RIMS). The hearing has been fixed for September 28.