The dead body of Chandra Bahadur Dangi, the world’s shortest man until his death on September 3, has not been brought back to Nepal from the USA due to financial and legal complexities.
Dangi had reached USA along with his nephew Dolakh in March after he was hired by an American circus company in Samoa for six months.
Dolakh said over the phone that the circus company had verbally agreed to pay Dangi Rs 2.6 million for which he was required to pose for photo with visitors to the circus for two hours every day.
“After he fell sick and was diagnosed with pneumonia, I asked him to return to Nepal, but he didn’t listen to me. He was admitted to the hospital only after his condition worsened. He died after six days in the hospital,” he added.
Seventy-six-year old Dangi lived most part of his life in a very distant village of Dang, devoid of basic transportation and communication means like telephone and buses. The news of his death had reached his family members only on Monday, five days after the incident.
Although the circus had assured him of paying all the cost of his treatment, it refused to do so after Dangi’s death. Dolakh has pleased before the American government’s help him pay the hospital fees so he can take his uncle’s body back to Nepal for funeral rites.
According to Dolakh, the hospital has sought Rs 2 million incurred in Dangi’s treatment before allowing him to take away the body. He said carrying out funeral in the USA itself would cost Rs 1.6 million.
“The hospital has issued a notice asking to take the body away within 21 days,” said Dolakh. With only 14 days remaining for the deadline to expire, Dolakh is extremely worried.
The circus company had slipped in Dangi and Dolakh into USA illegally without a legal visa.
“We were first flown to South Korea from Kathmandu, then to Fiji, before finally landing in the USA. At present, I neither have a visa for any country nor any legal proof of my kinship with my uncle,” he said.
Speaking at the CA meeting on Sunday, Dipak Giri, a CA member from Dang, opined that Dangi was an invaluable asset to the nation. Although the nation could not take care of his needs during his lifetime, urgent efforts must be taken to bring his body back into the country.
Dolakh expressed his grievances saying, “Although Prime Minister Sushil Koirala expressed condolences on his death, the government has not taken any step to repatriate his body from the US.”