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Ramakanta Biswas

A controversy has erupted after a video purportedly showing Padma Shri awardee Kamala Pujari being forced to dance at SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack has gone viral.

Pujari, who was suffering from kidney-related ailments, was discharged from SCB on Monday after receiving treatment for five days.

Prior to her discharge from the hospital, a female social worker allegedly forced the tribal activist to dance inside the intensive care unit (ICU). In the viral video, the female activist was seen dancing with Pujari with a local music being played in the background.

The incident did not go down well with the Paraja Samaja of undivided Koraput district who strongly condemned the incident. The tribe threatened to launch a massive protest in coming days if action is not taken in the matter by the State government and the district administration.

Harish Muduli, chairman of Paraja Samaja said, “The way ailing Kamala Pujari was forced to dance, sing and eat while undergoing treatment is unfortunate. Action must be taken against the self-proclaimed social activist.”

Condemning the incident, Kadambini Tripathy, chairperson of Maa Ghara, Nabarangpur questioned how camera was allowed inside the ICU. 

“In a place like ICU, where cameras are not allowed, shooting video and making reels is not supposed to be done. Besides, circulating the video for garnering attention or whatever reason may be also not good,” said Tripathy. 

Defending her act, social activist Mamata Behera said, Pujari performed Dhemsa, a traditional folk dance in Koraput district, by her own

“Kamala Pujari was having a mental breakdown due to her illness and lost hope that she would survive. My intension was to make her mentally strong and help her to get well soon. She herself insisted that she would do Dhemsa dance,” Behera said.

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