Hyderabad: A final year B Tech student in Hyderabad has come forward to assist in conducting the last rites of those who succumbed to the Covid-19 virus in Telangana, amid the disastrous second wave which led to a sudden spike in the state’s death toll.
Zeeshan Ali Khan, who works with the NGO Youth Welfare organisation, claims that he along with other volunteers has so far performed the last rituals of over 1,800 people across the state.
“We perform last rites of people who die due to the Covid-19 infection and this included people belonging to all religions. Till now, we have done more than 1,800 from different parts of Telangana,” Khan told ANI.
The student said he could not bear to stand and watch bodies of Covid-19 victims lying unattended by relatives because of their fear of contracting the coronavirus themselves.
“I could not watch people leave their loved ones unattended after their death because of a virus and I needed a platform do something and that is why I have joined an organisation and have been serving since then,” he said.
Talking about why the youth took up this initiative, Khan said, “Last year there was a situation in which a person died due to Covid-19 and his daughter called to say that his brother has run away and she wanted to perform the last rites of her father. In that situation, no one was ready to help her due to fears of contracting the infection. We realised then that this is only one such case and there could be many more.”
Khan, who is assisted by an enthusiastic team of his age group, said he derives satisfaction in serving the community.
“Someone has to come forward. It is my pleasure that I am serving the communities,” he said.
The youngster further said that his organisation also pays for the crematorium/ burial ground in case the family of the deceased is not able to afford the expenses.
“The organisation and its volunteers work free of cost. But people have to do to the crematoriums. In case the family of the deceased cannot afford, the organisation pays the amount in full,” Khan said.
Basalath Ali Khan, his father who works as a medical representative, said that is glad his son is working for the welfare of the people and inspiring the youth.
“He has been working for so many days. I am happy he is involved in such a work. Looking at these young fellows, other youth will also get inspired,” said his father.
According to the official state bulletin, Telangana reported 2,070 new Covid-19 cases, 18 deaths, and 3,762 recoveries over the 24 hours. The state has reached a cumulative death toll of 3,364 since the onset of the pandemic.