A man aged over 70 was seen carrying his wife’s body on his shoulders to the Jalpaiguri Super Speciality Hospital on Thursday, after he and his son could not avail ambulance services. The father-son duo claimed that the ambulance charged them Rs 3,000 from their residence in Kranti, which is 50 km from the hospital.
The man, Joy Krishna Dewan, and his son, Ram Prasad Dewan, carried Lakhi Dewan on their shoulders all the way from their home to the hospital. They said they were poor and told the ambulance service that they would only be able to pay Rs 1,200 but the drivers refused to help them.
Ram Prasad said his mother Lakhi passed away late on Wednesday and he requested an ambulance to carry his mother to the hospital early morning next day, but it was charging them Rs 3,000. “We stay in Kranti, which is 50 km from Jalpaiguri. They asked for Rs 3,000; I told them that I will be able to pay only Rs 1,200 but the drivers did not agree. We are poor, what can we do?” he said.
Even as he and his father were carrying his mother’s body, Ram Prasad said passersby started recording their video but no one came forward to help him. The video went viral, and an NGO finally came to the rescue.
“We have a patient help system; I think he did not know about it. The ambulance asking for money is an insensitive act. We have alerted everyone about our free ambulance service. They (father and son) were probably unaware of this,” said medical superintendent-cum-vice principal Kalyan Kha of Jalpaiguri Super Speciality Hospital.
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