For the past eight years he has been conducting last rites of unclaimed bodies,which he claims others cannot bear the stench of. The work of Madan Lal Vashishth is now being recognised by the UT Administration. Vashishth along with 11 others from various fields would be awarded during the Independence Day celebrations to be held at Parade Ground,Sector 17. He will be awarded in the field of public service.
Vashishth works with the All India Sewa Samiti that cremates unclaimed bodies. Two people who were earlier cremating the bodies were old and could not carry on the work further. The head of the samiti asked me to take up the charge, he says. This year,Vashishth cremated 94 bodies,while last year the number was close to 150. He says that those deployed at the mortuaries get in touch with him when there is an unclaimed body. He says the bodies are several days old and emanate so much stench that other people at the cremation ground often raise objections. He says that they try to visit the cemation ground when there is no other cremation going on.
Among the other awardees is Jahan Geet Singh,15,a student of St Annes Convent School,Sector 32. She would be awarded,in the field of Art and Culture. Jahan Geet,a student of Class X became the first youngest Indian dhol player. She has been recognised,both nationally and internationally and also by CITCO and North Zone Cultural Centre.
She also,became the first Indian female dhol player whose achievement has been published in an international magazine Tomtom. She also knows how to play other folk instruments. She loves participating in public speaking. Her aim is to make dhol-playing recognised all over the world. She said,I want everyone to step ahead in their life with a determination,especially girls. I feel that girls can do much better than boys.
Two sisters who have made a mark for themselves in the game of chess would also be awarded. There is no doubt that Tarini Goyal is the undisputed queen of 64 squares in Chandigarh. Match after match,tournament after tournament,Tarini has been among the medal winners. The 12-year-old is among the selected few from the region to have got FIDE ratings for her consistent performance in international tournaments. She recently won bronze in Asian Chess Championship held in New Delhi. It feels great to be recognised. Awards like this encourages me more to give my best for the state, she said.
Her elder sister,Arunima who is also being honoured by the UT Adminstration,has been a constant force in state-level tournaments and also
made a name for herself in national and international tournaments. The 14-year-old is also a mentor for Tarini as she prepares her younger sister for international tournaments. It is nice that both of us are being felicitated. We will always give our best to Chandigarh, she said. Both are students of Sacred Heart School,Sector 26.