Odisha: Sick Padma Shri awardee Watch Watch Video:Kamala Pujari forced to dance inside hospital before discharge

A video, in which the 70-something woman was seen dancing in the ICU of the government hospital, has gone viral on social media during the day. The social worker was also seen dancing with her with music being played in the background.

PTIUpdated: Monday, September 05, 2022, 07:11 PM IST

Bhubaneswar: Members of the Paraja tribal community of Odisha on Thursday demanded action against a woman social worker who allegedly forced their icon, Padma Shri awardee Kamala Pujari, to dance inside a hospital before she was discharged.

A video, in which the 70-something woman was seen dancing in the ICU of the government hospital, has gone viral on social media during the day. The social worker was also seen dancing with her with music being played in the background.

“I never wanted to dance but was forced. I denied it repeatedly, but she (the social worker) did not listen. I had to dance. I was sick and got tired,” Pujari told some television channels in Koraput district from where she hails.

Harish Muduli, president of the tribal community’s association Paraja Samaja, in Koraput said that its members will hit the street if the government fails to take action against the social worker, identified as Mamata Behera.

Pujari, who was conferred with Padma Sri in 2019 for promoting organic farming and preserving over 100 varieties of indigenous seeds of different crops including paddy, was admitted to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack with some kidney ailments.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had wished her a speedy recovery. The incident occurred prior to her discharge from the hospital on Monday.

The hospital authorities said Pujari was admitted to a special cabin and not in the ICU.

“The woman who allegedly made Pujari dance used to visit her at the special cabin. The nurses were not there when they danced,” said Dr Abinash Rout, the registrar, administration, of the hospital.

Pujari’s attendant Rajeeb Hial said the Padma Sri awardee does not know Behera who had also clicked several selfies with Pujari.

Behera, however, clarified that she had no bad intention, but wanted to shun Pujari’s laziness.

Pujari belongs to the Paraja community, a major Scheduled Tribe of Odisha. They comprise around 4 per cent of the state’s tribal population.

They inhabit the hills and valleys of southern Odisha districts of Koraput, Nabrangpur, Malkangiri, Kalahandi and Rayagada, an official said.

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