Three Nagpur Islamic Bodies Help in Burial, Cremation of COVID-19 Victims  

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Health worker spraying insecticides inside a grave before the burial of Covid-19 victim. Volunteers stand ready to provide any sort of help. — File photo used for illustrative purposes

Volunteers work in close coordination with the authorities and ensure that the bodies are taken from hospitals to the graveyard and crematorium

Ashok Kumar | Clarion India

MUMBAI — Three Islamic organisations in Nagpur have been helping the civic body and hospitals by transferring bodies of victims of Covid-19 from rural Kamptee and completing the final rites at a graveyard and even a crematorium.

The volunteers of the three organisations have been working over the past few months since the outbreak of Covid-19 and have coordinated closely with hospitals and relatives of the dead.

“All three organisations have been working in close coordination and have so far transferred 40 bodies from hospitals to the burial or cremation sites and completed the process,” Masood Ahmed, president of the Nagpur unit of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, told Clarion India on Tuesday. “We take the bodies of Muslims to the graveyard and of Hindus to the crematorium.”

The other two organisations include the Muslim Foundation and Safa Baitul Mai. According to Ahmed, volunteers from the three groups work on specific days of the week and discuss the plan in advance.

With more than 10,000 Covid-19 positive cases, Nagpur is among one of the worst-hit big cities in Maharashtra. It has also seen more than 300 deaths. And Nagpur district has seen the toll cross the 500-mark on Monday. It is the 10th district in Maharashtra to see more than 500 deaths.

While the first 100 deaths in the district happened over a period of three-and-a-half months, 400 deaths took place in less than three weeks. Nagpur is one of the 11 districts in Vidarbha region, which has seen a total of more than 950 Covid-19 deaths.

“Whenever there is a crisis in Nagpur, our volunteers are out there to help the authorities,” explains Ahmed, who heads the more than 100-year-old body of Muslim clerics. “We’ve done it for decades in case of floods, fires and other tragedies. And we do not look at the religion of the victim and carry all bodies from hospitals for burial or cremation.”

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