Early Times Report
Srinagar, Sept 29: Amid rise in corona virus cases, many youth in Kashmir are on the forefront to arrange funerals of those who die due to COVID-19. People, even relatives of COVID-19 victims are reluctant to arrange funerals for those who die due to corona virus, fearing they might get infected.
However, many in Kashmir are on the forefront to do the last rites of COVID-19 victims. They do everything from carrying coffin to graveyard, dig graves and also bury dead bodies. They remain 24x7 available. A founding member of one such volunteer group is Sajad Ahmad Khan, a 38-year-old youth of Bemina Srinagar, who runs a departmental store.
He took this initiative when on one evening; Khan was passing through the lanes of Bemina to return home, he saw relatives of a lady who died of COVID-19 were reluctant to go closer to the coffin. That day he made up his mind to arrange decent burials for those who die of COVID-19.
He posted on his Facebook page, that he can be contacted if any family wants burial of any COVID victim. “Since then I am receiving calls from people for burial of those who died due to COVID,” he said.
“All most everywhere, people are raising objections and do not want COVID victims to be buried in their graveyard. This stigma has to end. We should help each other in this crisis like we did during the 2014 floods,” he said. Khan provides all the equipment to his team (volunteers) like personal protection equipment (PPE) kits, sanitizers and other things.
Another youth, Arif Ahmad, who too arranges funerals of COVID-19 victims, said they do this service voluntarily. “There is no fault of those who died because of COVID-19. Then why do people stay away from performing their last rites,” Ahmad, a 30-year-old Srinagar youth said.
He said some people were even raising objections and do not want COVID-19 victims to be buried in ancestral graveyards. Bashir Ahmad, a Srinagar resident, said the volunteers arranged everything for the funeral of one of his relatives. “We should salute these brave young people who do this noble work,” he added.
The World Health Organisation has also issued guidelines for managing bodies of those who die of COVID-19 saying, “cadavers do not transmit disease”.