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Turn of fortune: Dana Majhi, Odisha man who once walked with his wife’s body, now buys a motorcycle

Since the time he first made headlines in August last year, the Kalahandi resident has been allotted a house, has remarried and has sizeable bank deposits.

Dana Majhi, the farmer from Odisha who walked 10 km with his wife’s body in August 2016, has now bought a motorcycle, which he used to travel the same road on Tuesday, the Hindustan Times reported. The turnaround in Majhi’s fortunes came as a result of handsome amounts he got in financial aid after video clips of last year’s incident made headlines worldwide.

Since the death of his wife, the Kalahandi resident has got a house allotted to him under the Pradhan Mantri Grameen Awas Yojana and has even remarried. The house is under construction. Majhi also got large sums of money from donors, including a Rs 9-lakh financial aid from Bahraini Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa.

He did not have a bank account earlier, but now has sizeable fixed deposits. Meanwhile, his wife is now pregnant and his three daughters get free education at a residential school in Bhubaneshwar.

This week, Majhi bought a motorcycle from a Honda showroom in Bhawanipatna.

Majhi, 16 months ago

In August 2016, Dana Majhi was seen carrying his wife’s body on foot from Bhawanipatna because he was not given a vehicle from the district hospital. The news came to light when Majhi and his 12-year-old daughter met the crew of a local television channel who then arranged for an ambulance for the remaining 50 km of his journey to Melghara village.

Majhi had said that the district hospital authorities had refused to help him take the body of Amang Dei, who died of tuberculosis, to their house, even though Odisha has a scheme that asks government hospitals to transport bodies to their families’ homes free of cost.

Just weeks later, in September, Majhi was quoted as saying that his life “has turned upside down”, after donations began coming his way.

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Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

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1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

Before I break the lock of a home, first I bolt the doors of the neighbouring homes. So that, even if someone hears some noise, they can’t come to help.

— Som Pashar, committed nearly 100 robberies.

Burglars study the neighbourhood to keep a check on the ins and outs of residents and target homes that can be easily accessed. Understanding how the mind of a burglar works might give insights that can be used to ward off such danger. For instance, burglars judge a house by its front doors. A house with a sturdy door, secured by an alarm system or an intimidating lock, doesn’t end up on the burglar’s target list. Upgrade the locks on your doors to the latest technology to leave a strong impression.

Here are the videos of 3 reformed robbers talking about their modus operandi and what discouraged them from robbing a house, to give you some ideas on reinforcing your home.


2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

Collaborate with your neighbours to increase the lighting around your house and on the street – a well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get-away, deterring them from targeting the area. Make sure that the police verification of your hired help is done and that he/she is trustworthy.

While many of us take home security for granted, it’s important to be proactive to eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery. As the above videos show, robbers come up with ingenious ways to break in to homes. So, take their advice and invest in a good set of locks to protect your doors. Godrej Locks offer a range of innovative locks that are un-pickable and un-duplicable. To secure your house, see here.

The article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Locks and not by the Scroll editorial team.