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For them, it is a mission to cremate those alone in death

Unable to brave the chill of the inclement weather, many homeless die on the roadside. As no one comes forward to claim their bodies or perform their last rites...

Written by Anupambhagria | Ludhiana |
January 4, 2009 2:42:58 am

Unable to brave the chill of the inclement weather, many homeless die on the roadside. As no one comes forward to claim their bodies or perform their last rites, Manav Kalyan Sansthan-a non-government organisation has taken upon itself the task of performing the last rites of the unclaimed bodies.

In a span of two years, the NGO has cremated around 350 bodies.

Gurmeet Singh, president of the NGO, said, “Our NGO was registered about two years ago. We have more about 250 members who contribute for the social cause by donating Rs 100 every month. It costs us around Rs 30,000 to Rs 35,000 to set the bodies on fire every month.”

But the real task is to store the body overnight especially during summers. Gurmeet Singh said, “The city does not have any mortuary. Whenever we are handed over a body by the police after sunset, we face a lot of problems. If the body is spotted near the railway station, the Government Railway Police (GRP) allots us a room at the railway station. We have named this room ‘dead-house’ and have constructed some shelves in the room for keeping the bodies. We need to have air-conditioners to keep the bodies in good condition. The bodies start stinking owing to infection and at times, it becomes difficult to take them to the crematorium.”

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He added, “The limbs of a few are eaten up by stray animals. We get some bodies in a very bad shape as they get infected with worms. So there is a dire need to have ACs in the ‘dead house’. We will also meet Sumer Singh Gurjar, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, in this regard.”

This NGO gets unidentified bodies from Dhandari railway station, Sahnewal railway station, GRP Ludhiana, Kotwali City Division number 1 and of beggars near Shri Durga Mata Mandir, Jagraon Bridge.

Yugesh Chawla, cashier of the NGO, said, “We are thankful to Rakesh Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Shri Gau Rakshmayi Sabha, who has given us a concession on the wood to be used for the cremation. We still end up paying Rs 1,750 for a single cremation and also give Rs 50 to a person in the crematorium for proper cremation.”

To immerse the mortal remains of these unidentified persons, around 15 members of the NGO visit Haridwar twice a year.

If anyone is interested to become a member of the NGO, you can contact 9888052572, 9876678923, 9988100661, 9815125505.

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