Superstition comes in way of cremation

May 28th, 2008 - 3:43 pm ICT by admin  

Bhubaneswar, May 28 (IANS) The body of a villager who died of chicken pox was not cremated and was instead kept on a hill for over two days in Orissa’s Deogarh district by family members and villagers as they wanted to be saved from the wrath of a local goddess. According to district health officials, at least 15 people were infected with chicken pox in the past fortnight at Aadash village, some 340 km from here.

Raghu Adha, 60, a tribal had contracted the disease and died Saturday evening.

“After his death, his family members did not cremate the dead body because they felt that if they lit the funeral pyre, it would enrage the local goddesses and may bring curse on the residents,” Chief District Medical Officer Rajarajeswari Devi told IANS.

They kept the dead boy at a nearby hill, painted it with turmeric and covered it with bales and neem leaves, she said.

“We recovered the body Tuesday and performed the cremation after convincing the villagers that it is a viral disease and has nothing to do with god and goddesses,” Devi said.

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