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Tuesday, Jun 28, 2022
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India couple beg for money to collect dead son's body
A video showing a couple begging for money to get their son's body from a hospital has led to anger in India.
The clip, shot in Samastipur city in the northern state of Bihar, shows the old man and woman going door-to-door asking people for help.
The couple said they were forced to beg after a hospital employee allegedly asked them for a hefty bribe in return for the body of their dead son.
The hospital said it would take action against the employee.
The couple's desperation reflects the plight of thousands of poor Indian families who face harassment at hospitals, often having to pay bribes to get the job done.
Mahesh Thakur and his wife told news agency ANI that their son went missing a few days ago.
Earlier this week, he received a call informing him that his son was dead — the cause of his death was not immediately known — and that his body was at the city's Sadar Hospital.
When Thakur went to the hospital, an employee allegedly told him that they would release the body only if he paid 50,000 rupees ($643; £512.95) as bribe.
Helpless, the couple decided to beg for help. "We're poor people, how can we pay this amount?" Thakur told ANI, adding that he hoped to be able to perform the last rites of his son.
The video of the couple cascaded across social media, sparking outrage. SK Chaudhary, a civil surgeon at the hospital, said he was looking into the incident.
"Those found responsible will not be spared. This is a shame on humanity," he said, according to NDTV news channel.
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