Bidar: When the family members of Covid-19 victims are reluctant to conduct final rites of their kith and kin fearing contracting the disease, it is Mohammad Majeed Bilal, a social worker of Bidar, who steps in to perform the final rites irrespective of their religion. Bilal and his team have joined hands with health workers to perform about 33 final rites of Covid victims in Bidar.
Bilal has been performing final rites of unknown and unclaimed bodies in Bidar for over a decade and noticing that some family members are not inclined to perform final rites of Covid dead persons, he approached District Surgeon and Commissioner of City Municipal Council (CMC) to conduct final rites of unwilling families and was granted permission by authorities concerned.
Bidar City Municipal Council Commissioner B. Basappa appreciated Bilal's work by joining hands with health workers in conducting final rites of the Covid dead in Bidar.
Basappa adds “In some cases family members did not come forward to perform final rites and then Bilal engaged in social works as been of real help in final rites of Covid dead. He and his team have been helpful.”
Bilal and his team have put up banners and flyers at Bidar Institute of Medical Sciences and District Hospital to spread the word that his team is ready to perform final rites of Covid victims.
Bilal told Deccan Chronicle on Friday that he gets calls from authorities to conduct final rites of unknown and unwilling families and transports the bodies in government vehicles to the spot where officials have identified locations to conduct final rites.
“I took the task of conducting final rites of Covid dead on humanitarian basis,” said Bilal and adds that he has been fending the families of his team members since the lockdown which comes to about Rs 1,000 a day including boarding and lodging charges.
Bilal said that he sold his two plots for Rs 7 lakh and another for Rs 4 lakh to meet the expenses. His team has seven members-Muneer Ahmed, Lakshmikanth, Mohammad Arif, Ejaz Miyan and others. “I cannot ask for money from Covid dead families since they will be in quarantine,” said Bilal.
However, help came for Bilal after BJP leader Suryakanth Nagamarapalli, who donated an ambulance to ferry the dead and also donated PPE kits to the team members through G.N. Foundation.
Since he took to conduct final rites of Covid dead persons; Bilal has made only a couple visits to his family members who stay in Bidar town.
“I have visited my family thrice since lockdown was announced in March. My team and I stay in the fields after conducting final rites and return to a lodge in Bidar town. We have ensured the safety of family members also,” adds the social worker.
By conducting last rites of the Covid dead Bilal has also made sure that he does not contract disease and goes for testing at regular intervals and he and his team have been found to be negative.