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Updated: December 3, 2013 01:00 IST

Greed in the face of grief

Asif Yar Khan
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‘Service providers’ fleecing money from kin of dead at mortuaries. As activity at the mortuaries begin for the day, scores of people including ambulance drivers, shroud sellers, photographers, insurance company agents, brokers working for advocates, and stationery sellers flock the place in search of ‘prospective customers

They were created to be a transit point for the departed.

But the city’s mortuaries are turning out to be thriving business centres for a host of ‘service providers’.

As activity at the mortuaries begin for the day, scores of people including ambulance drivers, shroud sellers, photographers, insurance company agents, brokers working for advocates, and stationery sellers flock the place in search of ‘prospective customers’.

Cases

Gandhi Hospital and Osmania General Hospital have mortuaries and mostly bodies pertaining to medico legal cases reported in the city and surroundings are brought here for autopsy and preserving. While the families of the departed mourn the loss of their dear ones, the service providers see it as any other business and make the most of the opportunity.

Syndicate

“The ambulance drivers have formed a syndicate and demand exorbitant fares to shift the bodies. With no other alternative, many are forced to shell out the money,” a police official who is regular to Gandhi Hospital mortuary complains.

The private photographers and stationery sellers are not far behind, social activists say.

The photographers demand between Rs. 200 and Rs. 300 for providing six photographs of a dead body.

“In fact, a few posters with the phone numbers are pasted across the mortuaries indicating the connivance of insiders,” points out S. Q. Masood, a social activist.

Complaints

Complaints of the mortuary staff collecting money for shifting the bodies to mortuary from autos and ambulances abound.

“People have to cough up certain amount of money to get bodies and the problem is more at OGH than Gandhi Hospital where many unauthorised people are doing the job,” complains K. Rajeshwar Rao, of Satya Harishchandra Foundation.

More In: Hyderabad

Great article - In the times when media is filled with populist political issues, real problems facing common man are ignored. Keep up the good work, Hindu, as this path is harder to tread.

from:  Nagesh
Posted on: Dec 3, 2013 at 21:38 IST

I have first hand experience of the same...one of the boys working in our organisation was killed in a bike accident..a hit and run..and was in the mortuary at OGH..his poor illiterate parents and a couple of relatives came down to get his body and to be taken back to their village..first the cops had to be paid, the the doctor at the mortuary who does the post mortem had to be paid so as to expedite and the the ambulance for taking the body to the village....then of course the insurance agents landed to help "file" a false claim for a cut...

from:  ravi krishnan
Posted on: Dec 3, 2013 at 15:06 IST
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