Bengaluru: With their PPE kits on, Nicole Furtado and her cousin Tina Cherian have been helping in the burial of bodies of COVID-19 patients at Bengaluru’s Indian Christian Cemetery since May 10.
Nicole, a final-year Bachelor of Social Work student at St. Joseph’s College and Tina (21), a final-year MBBS student at the Kasturba Medical College in Manipal told ANI they work at the cemetery from 1.30 pm in the afternoon till evening depending on the day’s workload.
According to Nicole, her father is the inspiration behind her volunteering with the group proving free-of-cost burials to corpses of COVID-19 patients.
“Seeing my dad volunteering and meeting these people inspires us to keep going. It feels good to help in some way. Risk is everywhere but sitting idle at home is even worse,” she said.
Nicole said she feels good knowing she’s able to help people who are at their breaking point after losing their loved ones.
“Some days are hard when lots of bodies come in, but we have a supportive team here who keep us going. We keep the environment light as we can’t keep thinking about it. The work we are doing is sad, and many people are at their breaking point. It is nice to know that we are helping those people,” she added.
Nocile and Tina stated volunteering at the cemetery from May 10, but the group had been doing the humanitarian service by ensuring dignity in death to the Covid victims, for over a year when the first wave of the pandemic had hit the country.
Tina said she is home for summer break and was inspired by her family to help people in need.
She said she is aware of the risk involved in the work she is doing but there is nothing to fear long as they take the necessary precautions.
“The fear is there. We take all precautions. We wear PPE kits and double masks and sanitize ourselves regularly. But these people need our help and they need people there for them at the time of mourning,” she said.
“My family has been incredibly supportive of the work we are doing. It is our duty to continue the work,” she added.
Karnataka is one of the worst affected states by the coronavirus pandemic.
The state reported 30,309 new COVID-19 cases and 525 deaths on Tuesday.
The total case tally in the state has reached 22,72,374, with 5,75,028 active cases and 22,838 fatalities so far.