Social differences are often erased in moments of crisis and such is in display at the cremation grounds in Bhopal, where two Muslim civic workers are working tirelessly to perform the last rites of Hindu covid-19 victims.
Danish Siddiqui and Saddam Qureshi, two Bhopal municipal corporation’s fire wing workers, are performing last rites coronavirus victims whose kin have refused to cremate the bodies in fear of contracting the infection.
In the middle of the pious month of Ramadan, the two are maintaining their fasts and performing the call of duty during such a crisis. The two claim that they get calls from families of covid-19 victims who say that they can’t perform last rites and instead request them to undertake the last rite rituals. Some even make video calls to see the last sight of the departed souls.
The duo, who have cremated over 60 victims, said that humanity is much above religion. Some people are unable to cremate because of fear and some out of financial constraints, they said.
Despite their fasts, both the young men have been making rounds of hospitals and crematoriums and perform their duty wherever required.
In some cases, these dedicated and benevolent souls have also taken up admitting the patient to the hospitals. In case of deaths, they take the body to the crematorium and perform last rites according to the Hindu rituals.
Crematoriums, including major crematorium–Bhadbhada vishram ghat- are overworked due to the influx of dead bodies. The two-acre land adjoining the crematorium is also being used to perform the last rites.