Shocking footage has emerged showing an impoverished man carrying the body of his dead wife along a road after the hospital she died in allegedly failed to provide an ambulance.
Dana Majhi was filmed with his wife over his shoulders wrapped in sheets and his heartbroken teenage daughter by his side as he headed towards his home nearly 50 miles from the hospital in Bhawanipatna town, India.
By the time an ambulance arrived, courtesy of local youths who alerted officials, Mr Majhi had walked over seven miles towards his home in Melghar village.
Mr Majhi’s 42-year-old wife died from tuberculosis on Wednesday morning and he said that he requested a vehicle to transport the body home for the last rites.
However, he claimed that there was no response, that hospital staff insisted that he move the body and that he couldn’t afford a private ambulance.
He told Indian Express: ‘I requested everyone, but no one listened. What option did I have other than carrying her?’
He added: ‘Since I am a poor man and could not hire a private vehicle, I had no choice,’ according to the BBC.
But a local medical official discounted his allegation and insisted that assistance had been on standby.
B Brahma told Indian Express ‘we would surely have sent the body in a vehicle’ and added that 12,000 rupees (£135) had been set aside for Mr Majhi, from the government and Red Cross.
Former Kalahandi MP Bhakta Charan Das asked what the point of having ambulances was if they weren’t used in instances like this, the paper reported.