The Video of a Stray Dog Nibbling on a Body in UP Says Everything About the State of Our Hospitals

Social Commentary

The Video of a Stray Dog Nibbling on a Body in UP Says Everything About the State of Our Hospitals

Illustration: Arati Gujar

A hospital ward is one of the least likely places you would think to encounter a stray dog, but that was exactly what happened in a government hospital in Sambhal, Uttar Pradesh. To make matters even worse, a clip was filmed of the dog as it appeared to lick or nibble at the unattended body of a girl who had died in a road accident. The disturbing video has gone viral on the internet, with users on social media sharing it widely accompanied by harsh criticism of the hospital administration for allowing such an oversight to take place in the first place.

“It is a matter of negligence on the hospital’s part. No-one was there to look after the body,” Charan Singh, the father of the deceased girl, told reporters from ANI. However, the hospital’s Chief Medical Superintendent, Dr Sushil Verma, denied the allegations of negligence, telling reporters “Body was handed over to the family after formalities. They didn’t want postmortem and were taking it away. They might’ve left it unattended for a minute when it happened.” Regardless of the back-and-forth allegations between the deceased’s family and the hospital, the hospital administration has suspended a ward boy and a sweeper in connection with the incident.

The horrifying image from Sambhal’s government hospital has led to sharp questions being asked of the BJP-led government in the state. Samajwadi Party, which is in the Opposition in UP, as well as the All India Mahila Congress, are among the political organisations which have called out Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for allowing this oversight to take place under his tenure.

It’s not just organisations, but also individuals who are outraged by the incident, as seen by the reaction to it online.

Given the renewed emphasis on strengthening the country’s medical infrastructure with the arrival of the global pandemic, this image from a UP hospital paints a worrying picture.