Original Story – 26th August 2016
Denied a hearse van or ambulance or any kind of vehicle due to lack of money, Dana Manjhi was left with no other option than to carry his wife’s dead body on his shoulders.
Accompanied by his daughter, the man wrapped his wife Amangadei’s body in bed sheets and carried her home from the hospital in Bhawanipatna town. He started walking towards his home in Melghar village in Kalahandi’s Thuamul Rampur block after hospital authorizes failed to provide him a van or ambulance.
Local youths on the way noticed this man carrying his wife on his shoulders and alerted the officials after which an ambulance was sent and took the body to his residence. Kalahandi District Collector Brundha D claimed that Majhi did not wait for any vehicle to be arranged by the hospital even as Majhi claims that the same was not made available to him as he lacked money to pay for the same. In the meanwhile, the District Collector has sanctioned INR 2000 from the state government funeral assistance scheme and INR 10,000 from District Red Cross Fund.
This is not the first such incident of people transporting dead bodies in this fashion. In May 2016, two youths had to carry the body of their relative from Jharigan Community Health Centre to Bharuamunda village, a distance of 30 km away, as they had no money to pay for a vehicle. A man in Andhra Pradesh who had come to Rayagada district, had to carry the body of his dead daughter in a trolley rickshaw as no assistance of a vehicle was offered.
UPDATE – 20th Sep 2016
News about Majhi’s plight travelled across borders, and Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the King of Bahrain, has been moved by his plight. He has gifted Majhi a cheque of INR 8.87 lakh. The money was sent via Bahrain Embassy in New Delhi, who then gifted the amount to Majhi personally.