Last year, at this time, all newspapers carried an image that will probably haunt us forever. A tribal man in Kalahandi carried his wife's body on his shoulders for nearly 12 km as he had no money for a hearse van and the district hospital authorities allegedly refused to arrange one. His 12-year-old daughter walking by his side, sobbing.
A year later, Dana Majhi's life has changed, or rather beginning to change. After the incident, a lot of people sent him donations-- Now, he has over Rs 37 lakh and all his three daughters go to a tribal school in Bhubaneshwar, reports The Telegraph.
"My children are getting education, government and various social organisations have helped me in various ways," he told The Telegraph.
Good that IMR fell aftr 16 yrs! But Dana Majhi indicates the real state of healthcare in tribal Odisha ! pic.twitter.com/1CHb5STxXz— Biswajit Mohanty (@biswajitmohanty) March 3, 2017
A lot of help poured in for the 42-year-old after the heartbreaking photograph. The Odisha government allotted him a house under the Indira Awas Yojana, Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister of Bahrain presented him a cheque for Rs 9 lakh. The Sulabh International made fixed deposits in Majhi's bank account which will mature five years hence on September 3, 2021. The founder of Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) admitted all his three daughters in his school.
Meanwhile, Majhi married the third time a couple of months back.
A tuberculosis patient, Majhi's wife Amang breathed her last on the night of August 24 last year at the district headquarters hospital in Bhawanipatna. After the hospital authorities failed to arrange an ambulance or a hearse van, Majhi wrapped up her body in old sheets which he found at the hospital and set off on foot to their village, some 60 kilometers away, with his daughter crying and walking next to him.
"I pleaded with the hospital authorities to arrange for a vehicle or an ambulance to carry the body. But as no one came forward to help me, I decided to carry the body on my shoulder to the village for cremation," he said.
After he had walked with the corpse for around 10km some local reporters spotted him. They informed the district administration and arranged an ambulance for the rest of his journey.
However, Majhi now wants the government and authorities to shift the focus from him to his village.
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