Daughters play pall bearers, cremate mother as villagers stay away

Bargarh: In a telling commentary on the superstition previaling in rural Odisha, two daughters had to carry their mother on their shoulders to the cremation at Baipali village of Sohela Block in Bargarh district yesterday.

This is the sorry tale of an ostracized family which neither got cooperation from the villagers in their day-to-day life nor in the death of one of their members.

Dei Pradhan breathed her last on Monday morning. But her dead body lay waiting to be taken to the cremation ground for seven long hours from 9 AM till 4 PM as nobody from the village offered a helping hand.

Finding no help from the neighbors, daughters Rechi and Chandrakanti, along with Chadrakanti’s husband, had to carry Dei’s dead body to the cremation ground. Moreover, they also conducted the cremation.

Elder daughter of Dei Chandrakanti lit the funeral pyre with the help of a few volunteers from nearby Sarakanda village.

Notably, Dei’s husband died of leprosy some time back. Since then villagers had shunned the family.

“My father died of leprosy. That is the reason why nobody turned up to help us. We called some people but no one came. We had to cremate my mother on our own.” said Chandrakanti.

“After getting to know of that two sisters were carrying the body of their mother for cremation on their own, we rushed to them to offer help. We were three-four people and whatever possible we did. In Hindu society, the sons are supposed to the cremation. However, as the deceased had no sons, her daughters had to do the same as villagers did not come out to help,” said social worker Biswajit Sha.