Anantpur: She walked slowly, up the hospital ramp, one arm stretched out behind her. Holding onto it, her husband, sick and physically challenged. Slowly, she shuffled up the hospital ramp, dragging him behind her.
- Woman says wheelchair, stretchers were not available
- People refused to help, stared as she pulled him, heaving
- Inquiry and more wheelchairs ordered at hospital
There was no wheelchair or stretcher available at the state-run hospital in Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday. So she did what she had to. The incident was filmed on a mobile phone by someone at the hospital. The clip shows others looking on but not coming forward to help, possibly because of visible sores on the 46-year-old man's legs due to what the doctor called "ulcers".
After a few minutes, the woman, identified later as Srivani, stopped to catch her breath. Her husband, Srinivasachary, was slumped over on the floor, equally exhausted. "There is nothing to move him on, they asked me to take him upstairs, so I am taking him like this."
The pictures come just weeks after the image of a widower in Odisha, carrying his wife's dead body on his shoulder, his little girl sobbing as she walked beside him, made international news. Dana Majhi walked 10 kilometres because he could not afford a hearse.
Authorities at the hospital in a town in the Anantpur district of Andhra Pradesh, 340 kilometres from the state capital of Hyderabad, said that Srivani was informed that two wheelchairs and a stretcher were expected back at the reception in a bit, but she refused to wait.
Srivani, however, said that she brings her husband here often for treatment - and the wheelchair is impossible to access, it is always in service elsewhere.
The government has ordered an inquiry and asked for more wheelchairs to be made available immediately at the hospital.