Man climbs tree to escape wife’s medical bill

October 28th, 2010 - 2:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, Oct 28 (IANS) A tribal is living atop a tree in Orissa since Tuesday after he failed to pay his wife’s hospital fees, officials said Thursday.

Okil Munda, 26, a resident of Sansanadi village in Mayurbhanj district, admitted his pregnant wife in the government hospital at the district headquarter town of Baripada, some 270 km from here Monday. The 21-year-old woman gave birth to a girl after a caesarean operation.

“Trouble began when he was asked to pay around Rs.4,000 for the operation,” the man’s family members told reporters in Baripada.

After failing to arrange the amount, the man climbed a nearby 60-foot tree Tuesday evening.

Attempts by police, administrative officials and even fire brigade to bring down Munda proved futile, as he remained unconvinced, despite assurances that the hospital fee will be waived.

“The man then moved to another tree Thursday. He is still perched on that tree,” additional chief district medical officer B.K. Nayak told IANS.

“His parents are trying to convince him, but he is not ready to listen,” he said.

The man is being provided food and water by lifting it to him at the end of a stick, Nayak said, adding that the hospital has already waived his bill.

Nayak said the man appears to be a psychiatric patient and requires treatment.

“Efforts are on to bring him down safely,” he said.

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