Hyderabad: Singed by public revulsion following the DC report on rotting bodies piled up at the mortuary, Osmania Hospital authorities and the government swung into action to give them a funeral.
Nearly 40 bodies that had been dumped in the old autopsy theatre had decomposed — the hospital had denied that there were any such bodies at the mortuary — were removed by the civic corporation and the last rites performed.
Health minister C. Laxma Reddy has sought a detailed report from the hospital about the non-disposal of the bodies.
The minister was scheduled to visit Osmania Hospital on Saturday to inaugurate the ultrasound and digital x-ray rooms. Before he arrived, GHMC officials came in a fleet of vehicles to take away the bodies.
The bodies did not even have a piece of cloth covering them, as our report had pointed out. GHMC staff brought white cloth with which they covered some of the bodies and tied them before loading them into vans.
OGH superintendent Dr G.V. Murthy claimed that the pile up of unclaimed bodies was unusual and that the hospital co-ordinated with the civic body to dispose of the bodies regularly. There was a few days‘ gap due to which the bodies had piled up.
Dr Taqiuddin Khan, head of the forensic department, had written to the GHMC last week, he said. Dr Khan told this reporter that he brought the issue to the notice of the GHMC on April 29. They had collected 10 bodies.
GHMC, OGH officials pass the buck
It’s for the forensic department of the hospital to ensure that the bodies after post mortem are packed and shifted to the transit room. Through official written communication, they should inform the GHMC for disposal. Only after receiving letters from the concerned forensic department and regional station house officer, the police department and the sub-registrar (birth & death ) will the GHMC dispose of a body/bodies either through cremation or burial. In the present case, there was no delay from the GHMC’s end.”
— Dr. B. Ganesh Babu:
GHMC – Chief veterinary health officer
Over the last 15 days, GHMC officials have not been regularly visiting the hospital to dispose of bodies. Unless the officials attend to the procedure, the bodies will not be removed from the transit room. From the hospital end, we have been writing to the corporation.”
— A senior official from Osmania Hospital’s forensic department:
Puff-rooms, to preserve dead-bodies of the unknown, in all teaching hospitals including Osmania, MGM-Warangal, RIMS-Adilabad should be readied on war-footing.
— C. Laxma Reddy, Health minister
Humans should be treated with dignity and respect even after death. This is what religion says and also the Courts. It is unfortunate that the concerned are not worried about both. Government should step in and stop the inhuman acts.
—M. Kodandaram, TJAC chairman
Dead bodies should be treated with dignity, this was stated by Supreme Court earlier. They should be disposed of within the stipulated time-frame as mentioned in MCI guidelines.
—Justice Chandra Kumar, former High Court Judge
The role of local police (Afzal Gunj) is key, and they should exert pressure on GHMC to do their job. During my period, GHMC staff used to come regularly on Wednesday and Saturday to dispose of the unknown deadbodies.
—Dr Narayan Reddy, retired professor and HoD, Forensic at Osmania
Unidentified dead are being treated in an inhuman way. Dead too have rights. HRF demands that GHMC set up a special crew to handle unidentified bodies. The civic body should realise that they were citizens and tax payers
—Jeevan Kumar, Human Rights Forum
Will anything ever shame the state if these shocking pictures don’t? When the destitute cannot live with dignity, is it really surprising that they will have even less dignity in death? The preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says among many other things “...reaffirmed faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person. It further tell us that Human Rights are held by all equally, universally and FOREVER...yes even in death. Hope these shocking photos will ensure corrective steps to restore dignity to human beings both living and dead. A fit case for SHRC to move suo moto.
—Thomas Pallithanam, Director, People's Action For Rural Awakening
DC readers react with shock to report
In cities like Mumbai and Chennai the mortuaries are scientifically maintained without public complaints. The TS government must depute a joint team of medical and police personnel for an on the spot study of mortuaries in those cities. The MCI, the law and home departments should prescribe standard procedures for all mortuaries as per the Anatomy Act (Sorry to offend but this is the truth, May 6)
Nirmala Ramachandran Alladi
I was shocked to read about the OGH morgue and the way bodies are dumped. Though the hospital may try to defend itself saying that the dead have no value, the government must act immediately before it becomes a health hazard for nearby residents.
G. Vijay Kumar
The Osmania General Hospital was once considered the best hospital in the state. But now it has lost its glory thanks to the governments who neglected it. There are lots of complaints regarding the hospital, its equipments and non-availability of medicines. The sight of nude, rotting human bodies piled up was shocking. Thanks DC for throwing light on the sorry state of the hospital.
Mohammad Ayub Mujahid
Many reports about OGH have appeared from time to time. The attendants do not treat patients properly and collect bribes for services they are expected to do. There is corruption everywhere. So the dumping of bodies is no wonder.
It was disturbing to read about the way unidentified dead bodies are treated at OGH. The least one can do is to cover the unfortunate ones with shrouds and give them a decent cremation or burial. Sadder is the fact that our doctors have to expose themselves to the foul odour emanating from decomposed bodies. DC has once again done a wonderful job.
Rotting dead bodies are a health hazard. The inhumanity of Osmania General Hospital was exposed by the photos. The sight of rotting dead bodies with no dignity was ghastly. The authorities must remove the bodies urgently. Blaming the GHMC is no excuse. No doubt Hyderabad is rated 23 in the Swachh Bharath Campaign.
Parimi Syamala Devi
The report on how unclaimed bodies are being dumped at the OGH morgue was shocking. This is absolutely inhuman. It is the duty of the authorities to at least keep the bodies covered with clothes and give them a decent funeral. It is surprising that OGH authorities are dumping dead bodies fully knowing that it can lead to the outbreak of diseases.
Kudos for reporting the reality at the mortuary. It was a gut-wrenching sight to see the bodies strewn in an inhuman way. All government hospitals should have cold storage. If it is too costly, hospitals should be provided with parabolic mirror array installed on a structure 40 to 50 feet high. The rays of the sun will disintegrate the bodies, without polluting the environment.
The report on bodies at the OGH was very traumatic. It brought tears to my eyes. Immediately I tweeted a message to minister K.T. Rama Rao and sent an SMS to his PS on the above subject. I have been reading DC since 40 years. I appreciate your coverage. Please continue to cover these kind of topics to force the government to open its eyes.
V. Amba Prasad
The report on dead bodies at OGH was deeply shocking. The OGH and GHMC are equally responsible for this. It is the responsibility of the government and the GHMC to look into this matter instead of throwing the ball into each other’s court.
S.M. Arif Hussain