A remote village under Patnagarh block in Bolangir district woke up to a gut wrenching scene on Monday morning when a minor boy was seen carrying the body of his father on a bullock cart to the cremation ground in a forest.
The incident was reported from Pavel village under Patnagarh block after relatives of the dead refused to lend shoulders over caste issues. The incident hurt the collective conscience as the evils of caste practice is still ruling the roost in rural Odisha despite protracted efforts by the government to eradicate the social issue.
According to reports, Sita Saraf of Pavel village had a love marriage with Kalyan Sunani of Chhattisgarh ten years ago. They had four children including two daughters.
After their marriage, Sita’s relatives and neighbours boycotted the couple as it was an inter-caste marriage.
They had migrated to outside the State in search of jobs. However, they returned to the village after a gap of ten years. Still, they had to live an ostracised life due to vociferous resistance of the relatives.
On Sunday, Kalyan died at home due to illness. His wife Sita requested her close relatives and neighbours to take part in the last rites of Kalyan. However, they didn’t turn up to participate in the death rituals.
With no alternative left, the elder son of Kalyan loaded the body of his father on a bullock cart and carried it to the nearby forest for cremation.
Later, some social organisations came forward and assisted the body in cremating the mortal remains of his father.