Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today launched the ‘Mahaprayan’ scheme.
Under the scheme, dead bodies of poor persons will be taken from Government Hospitals to their homes free of cost. The vehicles would function under the Red Cross.
The service would be available at 30 district headquarters hospitals and 3 Government medical colleges.
Mahaprayan scheme was launched keeping in view the success of Harischandra Yojana. Under Harischandra Yojana, poor people get financial assistance for cremation, while Mahaprayan scheme would facilitate transportation of bodies from hospital to the village of the deceased, Patnaik said while launching the scheme at Mahanga in Cuttack district.
There has been a state-wide outcry over non-implementation of the scheme, which was announced in February this year.
The government came under severe attack after a tribal man had to walk around 10 km carrying his wife’s body on his shoulder from a government hospital in the backward district of Kalahandi, as he was unable to get a vehicle to take the body to his village.
The scheme to facilitate transportation of bodies from government hospitals to the place of the deceased person’s residence will be monitored by General Administration (GA) and Health and Family Welfare departments, an official said.
As per the Mahaprayan scheme, 40 dead body carriers (vehicles) were to be procured for 30 district headquarters hospitals, two each for three state run medical college hospitals, one each for Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar, IGH, Rourkela, Sishu Bhavan in Cuttack and Cancer Hospital in Cuttack.