Updated: May 8, 2021 2:45:00 pm
Ever since the start of the pandemic last year, it’s the relentless service by the frontline workers that has kept us all going. However, amid all this, their own lives have taken a backseat as they often go above and beyond their duty to help those impacted by Covid-19. Now, a Delhi police officer is earning plaudits online as he chose to serve at a crematorium and even postponed his daughter’s wedding.
In a video released by the Delhi Police, 56-year-old Assistant Sub-Inspector Rakesh Kumar is seen working at Delhi’s Lodhi Crematorium. Kumar, who has been posted there from April 13, has been helping people perform last rites rituals amid the pandemic, sometimes having to light the pyre himself. The father-of-three, who has been living in Nizamuddin barrack, postponed going back home for his daughter’s wedding, choosing his duty to help those in need.
The video going viral shows Kumar, along with another cop, carrying a dead body on a stretcher from an ambulance to the cremation ground to perform the last rituals. The second wave has been excruciating, and in less than a month, he has had to help cremate over 1100 bodies.
#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
Earlier, talking to Indian Express, Kumar, who has been working with the police for 36 years, said he has been working more than 12 hours a day at the ground.
“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 said.
“This is my duty now. How can I leave and celebrate my daughter’s wedding?” he said, adding that he chose to stay back in Delhi as he carries out his Covid duties to ensure he doesn’t put his family at risk.
The clip quickly went viral across social media platforms, with people saluting him for his service, calling him a “hero in uniform”. From cricketers to actors, all have been expressing their gratitude to him for ensuring that the deceased get a proper funeral with “dignity”.
We salute ASI Raķesh. Such humanity is rare. https://t.co/LL52PzEuxn
— Indian Police Foundation (@IPF_ORG) May 7, 2021
A worth worshipping man. ASI Rakesh.
God is in him 🙏 https://t.co/bhMFOiMs0F
— Major D P Singh (@MajDPSingh) May 7, 2021
Respect 🙌 for ASI Rakesh Sir. https://t.co/NwKjH9syJP
— Manika Batra (@manikabatra_TT) May 6, 2021
Civil service aspirants often ask me the job profile of a common policeman. I find it difficult to narrate all our duties. There is no other profession that serves society in hundred different ways.
— Arun Bothra (@arunbothra) May 6, 2021
Heroes without capes 🙏🏼
— Parveen Kaswan, IFS (@ParveenKaswan) May 6, 2021
This is really tough & commendable! Additionally, I would request @CPDelhi to arrange for Psychological counselling for every @DelhiPolice personnel who are assigned such duties bec it takes a heavy mental toll to see dead bodies being cremated day in and day out.
— भारत आत्मज (@BharatAatmaj) May 6, 2021
There is no dearth of noble souls, no one knows who will give the financial & morale support. I salute the visionary, dedicated noble soul & family members for the excellent grooming,blessed to serve the persons in distress & victims of the COVID. Pride of the nation. Jai Hind 🇮🇳
— Dr Vinod Kumar Gupta (@Drvinodguptavet) May 6, 2021
🙏🙏🙏 Real hero. No words will ever be enough to thank him
— deepshikhas दीपशिखा (@deepshikhasET) May 6, 2021
Salute the gentle soul behind the khaki.
By rendering “Departure with dignity”, reassuring that humanity still exist
JAI HIND 🇮🇳
— NinjaWarrior (@NannuK7) May 6, 2021
As Delhi continues to battle the brutal second wave, officials at the crematorium said they receive 60-100 bodies a day, which is beyond their capacity of about 45-50 bodies.
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