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Sun, 16 Feb 2020

Northeast Today

Odisha boy carries dead mother on bicycle after villagers refuse to help because of caste

Odisha boy carries dead mother on bicycle after villagers refuse to help because of caste
June 05
09:53 2019

NET Bureau

As young Saroj pushed the cycle carrying his mother’s body down a crumbling lane, there was little to distract him from his thoughts but the sound of his own feet scraping against the loose gravel.

Covered from head to toe, Janki Sinhania’s corpse was laid out across the seat on she might once have ridden pillion, and kept in balance by a stiff makeshift bunk.

When it was time to conduct her last rites, not even one of her neighbours in Karpabahal, a village in Odisha, wanted to help Saroj carry her body to the cremation ground.

Their reason: she belonged to a lower caste.

So Saroj, 17, carried her body on the bicycle for four to five kilometres.

He is said to have buried his mother in a forest.

Janki Sinhania, who was 45, died when she went to fetch water and fell on the ground.

Her husband — a man from Sundergarh district whom she married ten years ago — is also dead. She stayed in her paternal village with her son and daughter after his death.

During Janki Sinhania’s final journey, Saroj stood and answered questions in an unpaved village street, his head covered in a dirty towel.

When he was asked whom the body belonged to, he spoke in a quiet voice.

“My mother.”

THE STORY IN A NUTSHELL: An Odisha teenager was forced to carry his mother’s body on a bicycle — and is said to have buried her in a forest — after neighbours refused to help him cremate her because of her caste.

Source: India Today

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