Bolangir: A man in Loisingha of Bolangir district was forced to carry his father’s body on a bicycle to the cremation ground all by himself after his family members said they wanted nothing to do with the man’s last rites as he had allegedly died of an infectious disease.
The deceased was identified as Bhagirathi Marpachi (55), a resident of Badibahal village under Loisingha police limits in Bolangir district. He died Sunday of a skin disease, and his son Pardeshi soon informed his family members of the death.
However, not a single relative turned up to help Pardeshi with the funeral rituals. The reason: most relatives were afraid that they would end up contracting the disease that claimed Bhagirathi’s life.
Sources said Bhagirathi was afflicted by a severe skin disease that led to sores all over his body. Despite availing treatment, the disease continued to spread, eventually resulting in his death.
His body had by then was in very bad shape, infested by worms. Sources said this was one reason why nobody chose to turn up at Bhagirathi’s funeral.
After waiting in vain for several hours, Pardeshi decided to take his father’s body to the cremation ground all by himself.
He loaded his father’s body on a bicycle and set off on a lonely journey to the cremation ground, with villagers watching in dumbfounded silence, according to sources.
Some sense prevailed on Bhagirathi’s relatives, and they made it to the cremation ground in time for the funeral after which the man was laid to rest.
The local sarpanch expressed his grief over Bhagirathi’s death and sought government assistance for his family.
In another similar case, family members had to carry the body of an elderly man on a cot for three km due to lack of money in Jajpur district Sunday.
Sambhua Munda (60) of Purunapani village was affected by a debilitating disease. Due to lack of money for treatment, Munda visited his daughter’s village and took recourse to traditional healing.
However, he died failing to get proper treatment. On learning the incident, Munda’s son approached Sukina community health centre (CHC) for an ambulance to shift the body back to his village. However, he failed to avail any ambulance and had to request co-villagers to help him carry the body on a cot.
Later, the villagers placed the body on a cot and were seen carrying the body through a busy weekly market on National Highway-53.
The incident triggered tension in the area for a while with the locals demanding immediate availability of vehicles for transport of bodies for cremation. PNN