Tribune News Service
Dharamsala, May 14
Pictures of a son carrying the body of his Covid positive mother to the cremation ground has brought netizens across the state to tears.
He was identified as Bir Singh, a resident of the Ranital area of Kangra district.
Bir Singh on Thursday had to carry his mother on his shoulders for about 1 km, as none of his relatives, district administration officials or villages, came forward to help.
Photos of Bir Singh wearing a PPE kit, carrying the body of his mother wrapped in PPE kits, surfaced on social media.
This incident has left people in shock. They have flayed the government for its failure to provide honest last rites to Covid deaths. This has also brought attention to the problems faced by people in cremating deceased corona positive people in the state.
The people have alleged that lower rung officials of district administration were shirking away from their duty to perform the last rites of corona patients.
While talking to The Tribune, Bir Singh said that on May 12, his mother developed a high fever, and had issues in breathing. After we met the local doctors, they advised me to take her to Tanda Medical College. As they couldn’t find an ambulance, and he took his mother in his car. The doctors informed us that there was no bed available. We requested the doctors to at least prescribe her the required medicine.
“I brought my mother home, and kept taking care of her, but she passed away yesterday morning,” Bir Singh said.
He added that he had informed the village head and his relatives. Our relatives came with two PPE kits. We requested the Pradhan to arrange for a tractor-trolley to take my mother’s dead body to the cremation ground.
However, none including the relatives, villages or district administration officials came forward to give a shoulder to my mother, to take her to the cremation ground.
“On waiting till 11:30 am, I asked my wife to make preparations. I lifted the dead body of my mother on my shoulders, and walked for about 1 km to the cremation ground. At the cremation ground, I put my mother down at the pyre, and performed the last rites,” he said.
“In the name of help, the administration has only brought a bottle of sanitiser this afternoon. I am shocked at this fact, that even our close relatives and villagers shirked from even extending a helping hand for the last rites of my mother,” added Bir Singh.
In another incident, a 50-year-old lady died of Corona in Guler village of Dehra subdivision of Kangra district. The locals alleged, that the local tehsildar had not reached the spot, despite innumerable calls to him.
The villagers claimed, that they did not even have PPE kits to perform the cremation. Only and only after the intervention of DC Kangra, two PPE kits were provided for the cremation.
When asked the Deputy Commissioner Kangra, Rakesh Prajapati, said that as per the orders of CM Jai Ram Thakur, it has been made mandatory, that a magistrate rank officer should be present on cremation of each Covid positive patient.
The sources here, however, said that though the administration was taking care of Covid positive patients, who die in Covid hospitals, the patients dying in home isolation were facing problems as local people are trying to stay away from cremations, and families are left to make arrangements on their own.
In some cases, the villagers are even denied permission to cremate deceased Covid positive patients in cremation grounds in their vicinity.