Police, health workers go beyond duty, perform last rites

Lucknow: In two separate heartwarming gestures, the police and health teams involved in the coronavirus battle, have gone beyond their duty to display their human face.

In the Kishanpur village in Saharanpur, on Wednesday, a Dalit woman Meena died after a brief illness. Earlier, the villagers had informed the police about Meena’s illness and the policemen had taken her to the district hospital where she died during the treatment.

Meena, a widow, did not have any relatives. Three police personnel, senior sub-inspector (SSI) Deepak Chaudhary and constables, Gaurav Kumar and Vinod Kumar, along with two local villagers, took the body for cremation and performed her last rituals.

The role of the police in this incident is now winning applause on social media.

In the second incident in Lucknow, Usha Pandey, 87, had suffered a brain stroke and was undergoing treatment at the Aastha Geriatric Hospital for the past one week. She died on Wednesday.

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Usha’s brother, Hriday, who lives in Cambridge in the UK, was informed but he expressed his inability to come due to the lockdown. He urged the hospital to arrange for the funeral of his sister.

Hospital coordinator Namita Sinha said, “He also spoke to us over the phone and said that due to the lockdown, his other relatives would not be able to come for the cremation. In a very emotional conversation, he asked us to treat his sister as our own and conduct the last rites.”

Four health workers from the hospital cremated the deceased at the Bhaisakund electric crematorium and preserved her ashes which will be handed over to a family member when normalcy returns.

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Waiting at the crematorium, Medical director doctor Abhishek Shukla, who also went for the cremation, said that the corona crisis was establishing the supremacy of nature over everything else with each passing day.

“I feel that the divine power is the ultimate decision-maker and it is His will that prevails. We are not related to her in any way but we were picked up to perform her final rites, something that only very close family does,” he said.

The team that went for the cremation has taken photographs of the last rites and the same has been sent to her brother.

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