Humanity must have died a hundred times when a patient was served food on the floor by a government hospital in Jharkhand’s capital Ranchi. The visual of a woman eating rice, daal and vegetables straight from the floor was clicked by the Dainik Bhaskar newspaper for local news.

Ranchi Institute of Medical Sciences, where the incident happened, is Jharkhand’s largest hospital with an annual budget of Rs.300 crores. And the woman who was served her meal on floor is recognised as Palmati Devi. She was admitted in the Orthopaedic ward for having her hand fractured.

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Palmati had gone to get food from the kitchen ward boys who asked her to get her own plate. On getting to know that she has none, they rebuked her and went on to serve her food on the hospital floor. This was not it, she was also asked to clean floor after she was done eating by the same ward boys.

“It’s not a common practice but we have started an inquiry and will take action those who served the food on the floor and then forced her to eat from there,” said RIMS director BL Sherwal to NDTV.

However, after the incident came into light, the ward boys have been sacked and immediately disposable plates were ordered.

This incident and especially the disturbing image has created quite an uproar on social media where people are criticising the hospital and the poor facilities government hospitals provide in India. But frankly, more than the poor facilities, it is about the public apathy towards the low-income groups. Like in this case, the ward boys decided to mistreat the patient not because of the lack of the availability of plates but because they thought that the since the lady did not belong to a certain income-group, she does not deserve any humility and respect.

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The incident shows the level of hypocrisy that is deeply rooted in society. Our treatment of people depends upon how they look and their income group. Women especially, who are poverty-ridden are abused, rebuked, disrespected like Palmati over here. It’s a sad state of affairs.

Feature Image Credit: Musugu

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