The COVID-19 pandemic has not only created an atmosphere of fear and panic among citizens, but also proved that blood is not always thicker than water. On July 10, when the family of a COVID victim in Patancheru refused to perform his last rites over fear of virus transmission, a local NGO stepped up to the task of giving him a respectful farewell.
D. Madhusudhan, who runs an NGO called M. Devender Raju (MDR) Foundation, performed the last rites with GHMC’s help.
For Madhusudhan and his team, this was not for the first such instance. They have been doing it since 2017, for over 140 identified and unidentified bodies.
Patancheru, one of the biggest industrials belt in India, is termed ‘Mini India’ where people from various parts of the country reside. Sometimes, the situation is that the relatives of a deceased person are far away and are unable to travel or afford the trip. Mr. Madhusudhan started the initiative after coming across a newspaper clipping in 2017 about the unclaimed body of an orphan.
“I am doing this job with the cooperation of M. Pruthvi Raj, B Rakesh and some others. The idea is give dignity to the dead,” Mr. Madhusudhan told The Hindu.