New Delhi: After the Dana Majhi incident which shook the conscience of the entire nation, more and more instances highlighting the situation of destitute people in India are cropping up. In the national capital on Tuesday, a 38-year-old tea seller spent more than five hours roaming different places in a private ambulance with his wife’s corpse by his side.

Chote Lal is a tea seller near Cross River shopping mall and his house is in Kakrakrooma village. Chote Lal’s wife had been admitted to the Hedgewar Hospital and was soon declared dead due to ‘chikungunya’. But Lal alleges that the doctors in the hospital did not provide him any prescription note or death certificate mentioning the cause of his wife’s death.

The real ordeal for Chote Lal was not that his wife had passed away, – he had no time to grieve – it was the fact that the hospital refused him the ambulance and told him to take his wife’s body home himself. Chote Lal then hired a private ambulance for Rs 200 to drop him home. But when the tea-seller reached his house, the landlord refused entry because Chote Lal was carrying the corpse of his wife along with him. Instead, the landlord gave Chote Lal Rs 2000 to take the corpse back to the hospital and arrange the documents verifying the cause of the death and the permission for cremation.

But when Chote Lal went back to the hospital, he was stopped by the security guard who refused him entry. Tired and helpless, Lal asked the ambulance driver to drop him back at his tea stall.

It was only after a Delhi police constable’s interventions that led to some relief for Lal. “Constable Vikram was patrolling the area when he spotted the ambulance and approached its driver who narrated the entire story. We provided Chote Lal all necessary help,” said a senior police officer.