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Bengal: High ambulance fare forces man to carry mother’s body on shoulders

Ram Prasad Dewan said his 72-year-old mother was suffering from breathing problems and he took her to Jalpaiguri Medical College and Hospital here on Wednesday.

By Newsd
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Bengal: High ambulance fare forces man to carry mother’s body on shoulders

Unable to pay the high amount demanded by ambulance operators, a man, carrying his mother’s body on his shoulder, started walking from a government hospital towards home, around 40 kilometres away, in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district.

However, after some time, a social service organisation provided the man with a vehicle which took them home in Kranti block of the district free of cost.

Ram Prasad Dewan said his 72-year-old mother was suffering from breathing problems and he took her to Jalpaiguri Medical College and Hospital here on Wednesday. She died there the next day.

“The ambulance that had brought us to the hospital charged Rs 900. But ambulance operators demanded Rs 3000 to take us home. We couldn’t pay that much,” Dewan said.

So he wrapped his mother’s body in a bedsheet, placed it on his shoulder and started walking. His elderly father was accompanying him. The hospital’s Superintendent Kalyan Khan termed the incident “very unfortunate”.

“We could have arranged a hearse for them if we knew. We do it regularly. The family perhaps was not aware of it. They did not contact us. We have to ensure that people know about this,” he said.

An office bearer of the social service organisation that helped Dewan alleged that ambulance operators do not allow those who provide free service to go near the hospital.

Denying the charge, the district ambulance association asserted that their members also provide free service during train and road accidents.

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