In India, an impoverished man was reportedly forced to carry his wife’s body for more 7 miles after the hospital in which she died refused to provide an ambulance to carry her body back to the village.
Dana Majhi said that his wife Amang, 42, died from tuberculosis at the district hospital in Bhawanipatna in the Eastern state of Orissa on Tuesday night. He said he was forced to leave with the body on Wednesday after hospital staff insisted he remove it. “I kept pleading with the hospital staff to provide a vehicle to carry my wife’s body, but to no avail. Since I am a poor man and could not hire a private vehicle, I had no choice but to carry her body on my shoulder,” said Majhi.
Accompanied by his 12-year-old daughter, Majhi wrapped the body in cloth and began the trek to his village in Melghar, approximately 37 miles away. After seven-and-a-half miles, people along the road called the local district collector who arranged for an ambulance to transport the body the rest of the way. Amang was cremated on Wednesday evening.
The local district collector said that she called for a vehicle as soon as she heard about the situation, and that she was ensuring the family received funds from the Indian government and the Red Cross to cover the cost of the cremation. At least half a dozen cases of bodies being transported on bicycles, rickshaws, or even wooden cots have been reported in remote areas of Orissa in the past few months. A state government initiative offering free hearse services for the poor, originally announced in February, was officially launched on Thursday.
Watch a short video clip of the man carrying his wife’s body below: