An eight-year-old boy sat holding the body of his younger brother in his lap for a couple of hours outside the Morena district hospital in Madhya Pradesh while his father looked around for an ambulance to take the dead child home, an incident which led to an outrage with people blaming authorities for being “insensitive”.
Taking a serious note of the incident, which took place on Sunday, the Madhya Pradesh government has ordered an inquiry into it and issued a show cause notice to the Morena district hospital’s civil surgeon, state Home Minister Narottam Mishra said on Monday.
A video of the incident, which took place outside the Morena district hospital, located about 30 km from Badfara village where the family lived, went viral on social media platforms.
Later, some social media users circulated the video and lashed out at the authorities over their apathy and for being “insensitive”.
In the clip, the boy was seen sitting along a boundary wall of the district hospital, with the covered body of his two-year-old brother, who died at the medical facility during treatment.
Morena District Hospital’s resident medical officer Surendra Gurjar said Pujaram Jatav, a resident of Badfara village, brought his two-year-old son Raja on Sunday morning by an ambulance, after being referred from a hospital in Ambah town of the district.
After leaving them at the district hospital, the ambulance returned to Ambah, while the toddler died during treatment of anaemia and other diseases on Sunday afternoon, he said.
Following the child’s death, his father Jatav asked for an ambulance from some hospital staffers, but the vehicle was not available at that time, the official said.
Later, a police vehicle carried the child’s body to Jatav’s home, he said.
According to sources, the deceased child’s elder brother was captured in the video when Jatav went to arrange for an ambulance, leaving the body with him.
State Home Minister Mishra said the state government has ordered an inquiry into the incident.
A show cause notice has been served to Morena district hospital’s civil surgeon. District panchayat CEO has been directed to conduct the inquiry and submit a report by Monday evening. Financial assistance is also being provided to the bereaved family, Mishra, who is the state government’s spokesman, told reporters in Bhopal.
He said the child was very serious when brought to the district hospital in Morena.
After doctors declared the child dead, his father went to some relatives while handing over the body (to his other son), he said.
“The state government has taken the incident very seriously,” the minister said.
Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath also expressed anguish over the incident, saying after the intervention of some locals, a vehicle was arranged to carry the body.
“In Morena, an 8-year-old innocent child was seen sitting in the hospital with the body of his 2-year-old brother in his lap. His father Pujaram Jatav kept pleading for an ambulance to take the son’s body to their village, but he did not get the vehicle for hours,” Nath said in a statement.
Claiming that such incidents have been very common in MP, Nath appealed to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to strengthen medical facilities in the state and make the system more sensitive to avoid such incidents.