Pradeep Pattanayak

Yet again the ‘Mahaprayan’ scheme (hearse facility) failed to come to the rescue of a family that had to carry the body of their deceased on their shoulders and walk eight kilometres to reach their village.  

The shocking incident was reported from Saradhapur village under Chandahandi block in Nabarangpur district on Tuesday. 

According to a source, the wife of a villager identified as Narendra Majhi was admitted to the Chandahandi Community Health Centre (CHC). While undergoing treatment, she breathed her last today at 2 pm. 

To take the body back to their village, the family members reportedly contacted the Mahaprayan vehicle, a service provided for free. They allegedly kept waiting for the hearse for as long as three hours but the vehicle didn’t turn up.

With no option left, they carried the body on their shoulders and covered the whole distance of eight kilometers to reach their native village. 

When contacted, Chandahandi CHC in-charge, Dr Sandeep Satpathy refuted the allegations of the non-availability of a hearse van. 

“The 55-year-old woman, a resident of Saradhapur village was suffering from fever. She was admitted to the hospital at 12.30 pm. But, the doctor on duty at that time declared her received dead. Since it was a medico-legal case, we informed them that we would report the matter to the police. Hearing this, they might have got afraid and left the hospital with the body. The question of a hearse vehicle arises after the discharge of the deceased person. Her discharge report was not prepared by the time they left,” said Dr Satpathy.

Notably, the Odisha government launched the Mahaprayan vehicle facility in 2016 following the hue and cry after a tribal man, Dana Majhi, was seen walking to his village with his wife’s body on his shoulder after not getting a hearse vehicle.

  • Reported by:
  • Trinath Sahoo