Women carry body on cot in MP’s Rewa, hospital says no vehicle available

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Four women carrying the body of their relative walked from a community health centre to their village to perform the last rites in Madhya Pradesh’s Rewa district. While the women carrying the body were heading towards their village on a national highway, a passerby made a video and uploaded it on a social media site.

The incident was reported in Raipur locality on Wednesday, around 25 km from the district headquarters. The body the women were carrying on their shoulders was of an old woman. She was taken to a local hospital for treatment, however, her condition deteriorated and she died during the treatment.

Having no facility for an ambulance or a vehicle for carrying a body at the health centre, the women carried the body on the same cot in which she was brought to the hospital and walked towards their village to perform the last rights.

The women alleged that they were not offered a hearse by the health centre to carry the body back home. “We decided to carry the body on a cot. Neither the health centre, nor the administration helped us,” the women were heard saying in the video which went viral on social media.

They were heard saying, “We are going back home the way we had come.”

However, Chief Medical and Health Officer, Dr B L Mishra said the health centre staff were trying to arrange for a hearse or an auto, but the family decided to carry the body on the cot and left in a hurry.

“It’s not a big deal, we don’t have a hearse van in the area,” Dr Mishra said.

According to district administration officials, the lack of vehicles to ferry patients to the Community Health Centre has caused problems in the past as well.

This kind of an incident, where people carry patients, pregnant women or bodies on a cot, cycle or two-wheelers is common in Madhya Pradesh’s rural areas.

For instance, two days back a woman delivered a baby boy on the side of a road after a 108 Ambulance, the state government-run Janani Express, failed to take the woman to the hospital in Khargone district.

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