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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

The State seems not to have learnt any lessons from the infamous Dana Majhi case. Half a dozen cases have come to fore after the 2016 incident. The State seems to have failed in providing dignity to the dead.

From Umerkote in 2019 to Banki in 2021, due to refusal of Mahaprayan-a free hearse vehicle scheme - by the respective hospital authorities, family members were forced to carry the dead body on a two wheeler. This shows prevalence of status quo in the State.

On Wednesday, the family members of a deceased had to carry the body on a bike for over five kilometres due to non-availability of Mahaprayan hearse at Banki Sub-Divisional Hospital in Cuttack district. The ugly and undignified act had shocked the passersby and people enroute.  

As per reports, Ajay Lenka from Dhansara village near Banki was suffering from high fever for some days. He was admitted to the hospital in a serious condition on Wednesday.

However, Lanka succumbed to the fever on Tuesday night. Though his family members requested the hospital authorities to provide them Mahaprayan hearse facility several times, it fell on deaf ears.

With no options left, the family members had carried the body to their home on a bike to perform the last rites. While one of them drove the bike, another one sat on the pillion holding the body and trekked the full 5-km distance from the hospital. 

But the Banki Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) feigned his ignorance about any such incident.

“I am not aware about any kind of incidence like this. An inquiry into the incident will be ordered soon,” said the health official.

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