Citizens quickly put together a sum of Rs 12,000 so a penniless tribal couple could transport their dead 10-year-old son’s body to their village in Dahod for last rites.
Only recently, a man from Odisha was inhumanely made to carry his dead wife on his shoulders as he was refused a mortuary van or ambulance at the hospital. Other reports point to children from poor families dying owing to inability to acquire timely and expensive ambulance services.
Natives of Jangoli village, Somabha Sangala and his wife lost their son Suresh while waiting at the central state transport bus depot in Rajkot. The child had been admitted to civil hospital from Bilkha village in Junagadh. The couple work as farm labourers.
On Monday, the couple asked doctors for a medical discharge as they wanted to return to the village. The next day, security guard N D Vyas was alarmed upon seeing the boy wrapped in a shawl lying on the depot floor. Upon inquiring about his health, Vyas realised the boy had already passed. The tribal couple did not know this. All they wanted to do is carry their son back to their village and give him home treatment.
Sahdevsinh Gohil, assistant traffic superintendent, Rajkot bus depot soon realised the parents had no money to take their child back to be cremated. Drivers and conductors of GSRTC (Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation), passengers and rickshaw drivers in the vicinity put together what they could rightaway. In a couple of minutes, a sum of INR 12,000 was collected.
In the meantime, 108 emergency ambulance was called. They confirmed the boy was dead. Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) arranged for another ambulance for the child to be taken to civil hospital for postmortem. A mortuary van operated by a local charitable trust helped with transportation thereafter.