When a father was made to carry his baby's dead body in cardboard box in Chennai...Here's a heartbreaking story!

As Chennai is slowly recovering from the destructions caused by Cyclone Michaung, the events that occurred aftermath the severe floods have not only exhibited a daunting reality that the city has long way to go to fix its infrastructure during such natural disasters but also brought out the prevailing apathy of the government and its officials in standing with the people during the tough times. 

In the midst of a slew of contentious incidents that had heavily damaged the ruling DMK government ahead of the general elections, there is yet another controversy that has sparked fresh round of attacks against the government. A father, whose family was drastically affected in the floods, was made to carry his baby's dead body in a cardboard box. 

The shocking incident has happened in Pulianthope in the outskirts of the city and after it triggered an outcry, the government reacted by suspending the staff behind that incident. A baby girl that was born amidst the flood had died within days and her body was put in a cardboard box and later, it was given to the father, Masood. When Masood's wife Sowmya had encountered a preterm labour on December 5, all he got was full of water loggings around his house in Pulianthope. 

The help was neither imminent nor visible and in the wake of heavy inundation, Masood and his relatives had struggled to take Sowmya to the hospital but their efforts failed. According to The News Minute, Masood had made attempts to call an ambulance but they went in vain. It is said that the child was born at the residence and the family suffered by having no means to sever the umbilical cord. Owing to the lack of medical services and lack of proper connectivity, the neighbours of Masood decided to take the mother and the newborn to the hospital by cycle rickshaw. 

They were taken to the G3 hospital in the area, only to find the gates locked and no one responded to Masood. Enduring more despair to save his wife and the newborn, Masood, along with neighbours, approached Muthu Hospital, close to the G3 hospital, seeking emergency treatment. However, the doctors initially refused to provide treatments, but when a police officer intervened and urged the hospital to provide treatment, they finally gave treatments to the mother and the child. 

However, the newborn had died and the demise gave more distress to the family. The child's body was taken to the mortuary of the Kilpauk Medical College hospital. It was then reported that a staff at the mortuary asked Masood to pay Rs 2,500 to cremate the child. The hospital staff further told Masood that if he could not make the payment that was demanded, he has to take away his daughter's body. 

For Masood who is not financial stable currently to bury the child himself, the demand from the hospital staff had fueled his pain. Startlingly, the child's body was put in a cardboard box and was handed over to Masood. The visual where Masood was carrying the cardboard box had apparently prompted fury from the residents over the apathy of the government authorities that they are not even aware about how a dead body should be treated with dignity. 

Boxing up the humanity: Masood carries a cardboard box in which his child's dead body was packed 


As child's dead body was given to him, Masood was reportedly left off by the authorities and with the assistance of Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (TMMK), he buried the body. With TMMK's intervention, the body was buried on December 10 - Sunday. When Masood and his family opened the cardboard box to take the child's body, they were more shocked to see that the body wasn't even wrapped with a shroud.  

After buying a new shroud, they wrapped the body in it and buried as per the Islamic rituals. When the incident came to light, it also revealed that the authorities-with-apathy don't have empathy towards the family. In the wake of serious backlash, the government reacted to the incident by just suspending Panneerselvam, a mortuary staff who gave the child's body in the cardboard box.