One of Maharashtra’s Worst-Hit Districts Witnesses Continued Rise in Covid-19 Cases


District administration officials and the police are all praise for the voluntary work being done by organisations such as Happy Club and the Sachkhand Gurudwara

Ashok Kumar | Clarion India

MUMBAI – Nanded, which is located in the backward region of Marathwada in Maharahtra, is one of the worst-hit districts in the state with a continuing rise in the number of Covid-19 cases.

The numbers are increasing by about 200 daily and has now touched about 2,400. Nearly a hundred patients have succumbed to Covid in the district so far.

“But there is growing awareness now and people have become conscious about the need to be careful while going out,” Mohammed Shoaib, a young activist and president of Happy Club, which has performed the last rites of more than 75 victims, told Clarion India on Wednesday.

Happy Club, with about two-dozen active members, has been performing the last rites of unclaimed bodies in Nanded for quite some time. But after the outbreak of Covid-19, the district and police officials sought their help in taking the bodies for cremation or burial, as many of the relatives of the victims were also undergoing treatment in hospitals.

“We either cremate the body or bury it depending on the victim’s religion,” explains Shoaib. “Even today, we handle about five to six bodies daily, carrying them from hospitals in ambulances to the crematorium or burial grounds.” The organisation does not charge money for the services it renders.

The Nanded municipal corporation provides personal protective equipment (PPE) kits to the volunteers. Civic officials in the city are all praise for the youngsters, who have been working selflessly for the past few months.

Interestingly, the famous Gurudwara in Nanded – the Sachkhand, which is part of the Takhat Sachkhand Sri Hazur Abchalnagar Sahib, one of the five Sikh Takhts, or seats of authority – had also handed over its Punjab Bhawan and NRI Yatri Niwas with a total of 400 rooms to the district administration for converting into Covid Care Centres.

But of late, many of the patients have been misusing the facility, and cigarette butts, bidis and even liquor bottles were found in the vicinity. Many of them also spit on the walls after chewing tobacco and gutka.

“They have spoiled the surroundings so we complained to the collector and the police commissioner,” S. Ravinder Singh, secretary, Gurdwara board, told this correspondent on Wednesday. “They took immediate action and now things are much better.”

Singh points out that the air-conditioned buildings that the Gurudwara gave over to the administration for keeping Covid-19 patients has been described as the best quarantine facility in India.

Officials in Nanded are all praise for the Gurudwara officials, who have also ensured that the patients are provided food daily.

Clarion India - News, Views and Insights about Indian Muslims, Dalits, Minorities, Women and Other Marginalised and Dispossessed Communities.


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