By Irfan Mohammed
Jeddah: The last journey for COVID-19 victims is a terribly lonely one for NRIs in abroad, in view of the restrictions on travel imposed by several countries, families are unable to even have a last glimpse of their departed ones and stay apart at a time of profound grief.
NRI families back home in India relying on friends mostly colleagues of their breadwinners on funeral. The situation in Saudi Arabia where Indian community scattered across vast stretches of sand to rugged mountain ranges is heart touching.
The last journey of Dr. K. Vijaya Emanuel is a loneliest of affair and exemplifies the death in alien land in amid of pandemic.
61-year-old, a native of Tarnaka in Hyderabad, was working as a doctor in the ministry of health’s hospital in Maysaan, a hilly resort station nearby Taif. He traveled home for vacation and returned in the month of April.
He was found positive for COVID-19 immediately upon return. He was in isolation, later admitted into a hospital in Maysaan. Later, he was shifted to a specialist hospital in Taif following the deterioration of his condition where he succumbed to the virus after weeks of treatment.
His wife Mangala, also doctor in India and children couldn’t able to make their journey to Saudi Arabia to see last glimpse of their loved one as travel has been suspended due to COVID-19 cases in India.
In a tiny town of Mayasaan, there is a handful of Indian community, many of them working in the same hospital where deceased was employed.
Dr. Qaiser Basheer, fellow doctor who hailing from Srinagar in Kashmir is best friend of late Vijay.
The late doctor family in India has authorized Kashmiri doctor to act on behalf of them for all death-relevant formalities including the last rites.
Dr. Qaiser Basheer, along with noted Indian community worker Mohammed Salih Sahib, took the dead body 300 KM away from their place for burial.
It is all about humanity and friendship not region neither religion, says Dr. Basheer.
He told that death ends a life, not a relationship. “It is immense pain at the loss of dear one as brother”, he added.
“It is difficult to console the family members of a deceased when they are not being able to see the departed one last time,” Dr. Basheer said.
There are several such cases that speaks volume of humanity and friendship above all barriers in lonely death cases.