‘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’.
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.
“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 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.