In an incident that brings to light a dangerous pattern in India, a tribal in Madhya Pradesh had to gather waste paper, tyres, twigs and plastic bags to cremate his wife after he was turned away from a crematorium because he could not afford to pay for it.
According to The Times of India, Jagdeesh Bhil, from Ratangarh village in Neemuch district, spent three hours collecting garbage for the pyre last Friday after he was spurned by the crematorium.
The report added that someone even suggested that he throw his wife in the river instead. "My wife, Nozibai, died early on Friday morning. We went to the Ratangarh village panchayat to arrange for logs for the cremation. But the (village) heads claimed that they couldn't do anything because we did not have enough money to get the 'parchi', which costs Rs 2,500," the report quoted him as saying.
Incidents of neglect like the one Bhil had to face are being reported very frequently in our country.
On Sunday, in yet another heart-rending incident, a woman in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, ran from one hospital to another with her daughter's body and was forced to spend a night outside the emergency wing of the district hospital with the dead child after ambulance drivers allegedly refused to take them to their village as it was in another district.
The incident in Meerut comes just days after the disturbing incident reflecting hospital apathy in Kanpur, where a man was allegedly made to take his ailing son on his shoulders from one department to another by the doctors and the child finally died.
In August, a tribal in Odisha called Dana Majhi had to walk 10 km with his wife's corpse on his shoulder after he was denied a vehicle from a government hospital.
Earlier in August, a Dalit man in Madhya Pradesh's Morena district had cremated the body of his wife in front of his house, claiming he was not allowed to use the cremation ground by upper caste people.
The man, identified as Bablu, had claimed that the cremation ground has been encroached upon by "upper caste" people. However, the local administration says the land was illegally occupied by the Dalits.
The incident had taken place in Garhi village of Morena's Ambah town. When Bablu arrived at the cremation ground with his wife Pooja's body, he was told he cannot cremate the body as the land belongs to the so-called upper caste people.
Dalit villagers have been quoted saying they all face the same problem as the "upper castes" have started farming on the land meant for cremation.
With inputs from agencies