The collapse of the State: 17-year-old girl’s dead body carried on a hand cart in Chhattisgarh

On Sunday, a family was forced to carry the dead body of a 17-year-old girl from Chhattisgarh’s Rajnandangaon district hospital on a hand cart to their home in Bakhru Tola, which is 60 Km away from the district headquarters. The girl’s family alleged that the hospital staff refused a hearse van to carry the dead body of the deceased to home.

Rajnandangaon, where the incident occurred, happens to be the home constituency of Chhattisgarh’s CM Raman Singh.

The family had brought the girl’s burnt body to the district hospital after she had allegedly committed suicide. The family alleged that the staff demanded Rs.750 as a bribe for autopsy and the procedure was delayed when the family refused to pay the bribe.

The girl’s family asked for an ambulance to take her dead body after it was handed over to them around 12 pm, but the hospital staff allegedly did not provide one, and was asked to wait.

The family said that since the hearse van was not forthcoming even after waiting for close to three hours, they decided to hire a hand cart at around 2.45 pm. The hospital administration offered a hearse van to the bereaved family only after they have already crossed a few kilometres from the hospital. Irked with the inconvenience, the family declined to avail the service.

The shocking incident demonstrates the apathy of the government hospitals across the country. However, this is not the lone incident of the kind, although it adds to a string of such heart-wrenching incidents.

On 12th June 2017, a man identified as Brij Mohan in Uttar Pradesh’s Kaushambi district was forced to carry the body of his niece on a bicycle after being allegedly denied an ambulance by a government hospital.

On 4th June 2017, a tribal man identified as Sunaram Singh of ward 11 in Nilagiri NAC in Balasore district of Odisha was forced to carry the body of his six-year-old son on a trolley rickshaw from Nilagiri sub-divisional hospital (SDH) to his home as he could not get any support from the hospital authorities.

On 20th May 2017, a man in Kaushambi district of Uttar Pradesh had to carry his dead wife on a stretcher for some distance after being denied ambulance unless he paid a bribe of Rs. 800.

On 9th March 2017, Suresh Mandal, a labourer and a resident of Shivpuri locality in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur, and his relatives were forced to carry his wife’s body home on their shoulders after being allegedly denied an ambulance at a government hospital.

On 14th October 2016, a man identified as Pawan Namdev in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhind district carried the body of his son on a motorcycle to his home at Mehandana, 25 km away as hospital authorities allegedly denied him an ambulance or a hearse.

Dhana Majhi carrying the dead body of his wife

On 24th August 2016, Dana Majhi, a resident of Melghar village in Odisha’s Kalahandi district, had carried his wife’s dead body on his shoulder and walked 10 km accompanied by his minor daughter after allegedly being denied a hearse van by the district hospital.

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