Amidst the coronavirus surge in Gujarat, crematoriums are overflowing with dead bodies of covid-19 patients. In such a grim situation, a Vadodara man has set an example by performing the last rites. For the last one year since the pandemic began, this family has been living in a city crematorium and has been helping bereaved families amid crisis.
Kanhaiyalal Shirke, who hails from Maharashtra, has been working in a paint business in Vadodara. Having lost his job due to the lockdown, he and his family were forced to find refuge at a cremation ground in the city.
Shirke is staying in Vasna crematorium with his wife and children. He and his wife earn their livelihood by helping families perform the last rites. On many occasions, he has suffered injuries while picking up rods at the electric crematorium.
Due to the current pandemic situation, Shirke says some relatives are scared even to touch the remains of the deceased. Shirke says he has to step in to collect the remains for the families and even volunteers to carry them in the river water. He also bears the cost of the expenses incurred.
On learning about his selfless acts, some non-profits have approached Shirke and have begun compensating him for shouldering the expenses.
Shirke says that common people are scared of entering the crematorium. Some have raised the alarm over his family staying in the cremation ground.