No Money For Ambulance, Bengal Man Travels 200 Km In Bus With Son’s Body In Bag | India News

Kolkata: A man on Sunday claimed that he travelled in a public bus with the body of his five-month-old child in a bag for 200 kilometres in the northern part of West Bengal, as he did not have Rs 8,000 as demanded by an ambulance driver for taking him home in Kaliaganj from Siliguri. Leader of Opposition in West Bengal assembly Suvendu Adhikari of the BJP questioned the efficacy of the Trinamool Congress government’s ‘Swasthya Sathi’ health insurance scheme, while the TMC accused the saffron camp of indulging in politics over the unfortunate death of a child.

Ashim Debsharma, the father, said “My five-month-old son died last night after treatment at the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital in Siliguri for six days, during which I spent Rs 16,000.” “I did not have money to pay Rs 8,000 demanded by an ambulance driver there for transporting my child to Kaliaganj,” he told reporters.

Debsharma claimed that he put the body in a bag and travelled by bus to Kaliaganj in Uttar Dinajpur district, around 200 km from Siliguri in Darjeeling district, without letting anyone know, fearing that he would be deboarded if the co-passengers of staff became aware of it. He claimed that an ambulance driver under the 102 scheme told him that the facility was free for patients, but not for transporting corpses.

Tweeting the matter with videos of the man speaking to the media, Adhikari wrote: “Let’s not get into technicalities, but is this what Swasthya Sathi has achieved? This is unfortunately the true portrayal of the ‘Egiye Bangla’ (advanced Bengal) model.” TMC Rajya Sabha MP Santanu Sen accused the BJP of trying to “play dirty politics” with the unfortunate death of a child.



A similar incident happened in January this year in Jalpaiguri district, also in the northern part of the state. 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. However, after some time, a social service organisation provided him with a vehicle which took them home free of cost.

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