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Pradeep Singh

This apathy certainly breaks hearts... While allegations of medical apathy and negligence have become a daily phenomenon in Odisha, the alleged callousness of medical staff and police department in Bhadrak district has shaken the conscience.

In the heart rendering incident reported from a hospital in the district on Saturday, a man and his wife were seen sitting helplessly on a cot with the body of their two-year-old daughter at the Chandbali Community Health Centre (CHC) while waiting for the conduct of her post-mortem.

Reportedly, the girl drowned in a pond on Friday at around 1 pm. Though she was rushed to the CHC, doctors declared her dead before admission. The Bansada Police then registered an unnatural death case and stationed a constable at the hospital for the autopsy.

However, the tragedy was that though the couple waited indefinitely for the post-mortem, neither did the medical staff nor the policeman bothered to get the autopsy done even after 28 hours.

The body remained unattended for over 28 hours. Even though the parents of the deceased begged before the medical staff and the constable as time passed, no one turned up.

"I have been waiting here since yesterday, but none is here to help me. No one is concerned about the pain that a father is going through while holding the body of his daughter," said the bereaved father, Arabinda Jena while raising questions on the 'eroding' sanity of the administration.

On being asked, the on-duty constable said he was told to remain at the CHC for post-mortem of the child. "You ask sir, he will tell," said the constable apparently trying to shirk responsibility. 

On the other hand, the medical in-charge at the CHC said it was the job of the police department to take bodies for post-mortem.

Nevertheless, the plight of the hapless couple waiting to conduct the last rites of their beloved daughter continued with a deaf administration having little concerned about the dignity it is expected to give to the dead.

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