Sunday 5 August 2018 7:29 AM UTC
Jharsuguda (Odisha): Bringing in a glimmer of hope in the days of caste and religious divide, a Biju Janata Dal (BJD) legislator from Rengali performed the last rites of an old woman, who was ostracised by her community, in Amnapali village of Jharsuguda district.
The deceased woman, who earned a living by begging, was staying with her brother-in-law. However, the latter was unable to perform the last rites of the woman on account of health issues.
With the family member unable to perform the rituals and the fear of ostracisation stopping members of other communities to perform the last rites of a woman who belonged to a lower caste, the MLA, Ramesh Patua, stepped forward to be the deceased’s pall-bearer, and helped perform the last rites along with his son and nephew on Saturday.
“According to a practice in the village, if a person touches the body of someone from another caste, he is ostracised by his own community.
Therefore, I sent my son and nephew to take the body to the burial ground and joined them to perform the last rites,” he said.
Along with the help of a group of men, the legislator lowered the body of the deceased woman into the ground, after which the men were seen filling the grave with sand.
It may be noted that Patua, who performed the last rites of a woman from Jharsuguda district, was elected from Rengali in Sambalpur district.
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