Even as the coronavirus continues its onslaught across states in India, true to the moniker attached to them, the frontline workers have been at the forefront of the defense against the virus and helped everyone through this pandemic. In doing so, often they end up not being able to be there for their own people or miss out on the personal front of many things. In a similar fashion, a Delhi police officer ended up postponing his daughter’s wedding because he decided to instead help at a crematorium instead.
A video that was released by the Delhi Police featured 56-year-old Assistant Sub-Inspector Rakesh Kumar working at Delhi’s Lodhi Crematorium. Kumar has been posted there since April 13 and has been helping family members/relatives in cremating the victims of Covid-19 and sometimes even had to light up the pyre. Kumar, who lives in Nizamuddin barrack and has 3 children has also postponed his daughter’s wedding in order to stay on and help the people with the last rites.
A widely shared video originally posted by the Delhi police shows Kumar and another cop carrying the body of a Covid victim on a stretcher from an ambulance to the cremation area. Kumar has reportedly helped tp cremate over 1100 bodies and has himself lit the pyre for 50.
#DelhiPolice ASI Rakesh 56yr old, father of 3, lives in PS Nizamuddin barrack. On duty at Lodi Road crematorium since 13 Apr, has helped over 1100 last rites, himself lit pyre for over 50. Postponed daughter's marriage due yesterday to attend to #covid duties#DilKiPolice #Heroes pic.twitter.com/dQJhjnt81w
— #DilKiPolice Delhi Police (@DelhiPolice) May 6, 2021
Kumar has been with the Delhi Police for the last 36 years and says he works for 12 hours daily at the crematorium. “The ambulances put the bodies outside the ground and leave. We have to help them. I have helped children cremate their parents and grandparents. The second wave is bad. I remember helping a teenager perform the last rites of his father; that pain and suffering can’t be explained,” Kumar was quoted by Indian Express.
Kumar told news agency ANI, “I have helped nearly 1100 people. I have taken both shots of vaccines & take all precautions. I have postponed my daughter’s marriage to help people here.”
Delhi Police ASI, stationed at Lodhi Road Crematorium, helps in cremation of people who died due to COVID.
I have helped nearly 1100 people. I have taken both shots of vaccines & take all precautions. I have postponed my daughter's marriage to help people here: ASI Rakesh Kumar pic.twitter.com/ir3oE5XUfb
— ANI (@ANI) May 5, 2021
The video has gone viral on social media and Kumar was hailed by many people, including cricketers and administrative officers and others who praised his work and called him a ‘hero in uniform’.