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Shaiba, queen of Raja Harishchandra who lost everything in the hands of God, had to carry the dead body of her only son, Ruidas after she had not a single penny for conducting the last rites of the boy who died snake bite.
Everyone must aware of the famous mythological story of mighty king, Raja Harischandra who lost everything in the hand of the God for keeping his promise and subsequently taken the role of a ‘Dom’ (scavenger) at a cremation ground.
The ill-fated queen had to carry the corpse of her son and even she was refused to conduct the last rites by her husband who was ‘Dom’ of that cremation ground as she was not in a position to pay the ‘tax’ for crimination.
Queen Shaiba had to face the cruel joke of her destiny mainly because the conspiracy of God hatched against her husband Raja Harishchandra, known the most powerful Indian moral character. But the question here is who is conspirator in present time for many underprivileged in the country particularly in Bihar who compelling them to carry the corpse of their own near and dear by their limited resources in the time of their deaths during treatments in hospitals?
And the answer is simple, the rotten system. In most of government run hospitals in Bihar, mostly resource less or lack of basic sense among the authority concerned, a poor is left with no option rather to carry the dead body of the person who died during treatment in that hospital. The shocking incident of Orissa in which a tribal had to carry his wife’s dead body on his solder and walked to reach his village, created much hue and cry in the country a few year ago.
But again in such a shocking incident, a daily wage worker, Shankar Sah, had to carry the body of his wife from the Purnia sadar hospital to his native Ranibari village under Shrinagar police station of Punria, on a motorcycle along with his son to perform her last rites, was the great reminder of the system.
The hospital had no working ambulance or mortuary van to take the deceased home and poor Sah didn’t had Rs 2,500 to hair a private vehicle to carry the body to his village.
A day before Purnia incident a news footage of the body of a destitute woman being wheeled in a garbage cart to the Sri Krishna Medical College Hospital in Muzaffarpur for post-mortem examination, spread shock wave in Bihar mainly for the ‘inhuman’ attitude of authority concerned of a government medical college hospital.
Not only that earlier, in March this year, relatives of another woman who died at the Muzaffarpur sadar hospital, were forced to carry her body on foot before they could engage an auto-rickshaw to take it home. The family member of the deceased were also denied an ambulance for carrying the body.
In another same incident at Bhagalpur, villagers had to carry the bodies of two youths to hospital who downed in river Ganga on June 5. Four youths who went to take a bath in the river at Babupur Ghat, downed at around 8 am in the morning of the fateful day but not a single police or any concern person form local administration was there even at around 3 pm when two bodies were recovered. Since there was no vehicle to send the downed youth to hospital, local managed two motor cycles and sent them hospital, though they died much before the recovery.
Chief minister, Nitish Kumar had expressed serious concerned over Purnea incident and in follow up action the in-charge medical officer was put on suspension. Besides, the health department refused the plea given by the civil surgeon, Purnea behind the incident. The department has asked the civil surgeon, Purnea along with other four health employees to give fresh reply on the entire episode.
Nitish Kumar who on yesterday said steps were being taken to avoid a repetition of the incident, instructed the health department to work out a policy to ensure proper arrangement to carry bodies of the dead from hospitals to their homes or to cremation ground, as the case may be, for those unable to afford the cost of transport.
Nitish Kumar’s concern over such incidents, surely would introduce some radical changes but again the question lies- how it could be effective if person concerned to the hospitals would not be sensitives to handle such affairs properly?