A lonely funeral amidst COVID-19 lockdown in Assam

COVID-19 Top story

The lockdown imposed across India prevented a son from reaching his hometown to attend his deceased father’s funeral.

By Muskaan Agarwal

April 15, 2020

Lanka: The nationwide lockdown has resulted in many lonely funerals across the nation. Relatives of the deceased residing in India and abroad are stuck and not able to find any mode of transportation to reach back to their homes. 

Binny Dholani couldn’t travel to Lanka, a town in Hojai district of Assam, to attend the funeral of his deceased father. Currently a resident of Pune, he said that he had approached the High Court of Maharashtra to get an E-pass to travel back home, but couldn’t make it in time. 

Binny said, “My father is a resident of Guwahati. He had gone to visit his friend in Lanka on March 23. But after the announcement of lockdown on March 24, he got stuck there and couldn’t return home. On April 5, he suffered from a heart attack and died.”

“The same day, I got an E-pass from the HC but couldn’t find a cargo flight to take me back home. I thought of hiring a cab, but then it would’ve taken three days and by that time the body would have been cremated,” he added

Meanwhile, Narayan Dulhani, a close friend of the Binny’s father had requested a morgue in Guwahati to get the body from Lanka and keep it, till Binny arrives. However, Dulhani said that the morgue refused to take the body until they are provided with a test showing a negative test result of COVID-19 of the body.

Binny’s father was cremated on April 5. “Although belonging from a different community, yet my father’s friends decided to cremate my father in the way as practised in his community,” said Binny.

In a similar incident, in Warangal, the wife of a deceased farmer had to cremate his body, as her daughter and son – who are stuck in Bengaluru and Australia respectively — couldn’t attend the funeral due to the lockdown, reported The Siasat Daily

Sureshbabu Muthupandi, a resident of the USA, tweeted to various government officials and ministers in India—as he was unable to get the permission—to express his urgency to attend the funeral of his mother in Chennai.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on March 15 issued the guidelines to be followed for management and cremation of a dead body.

Picture Courtesy: flickr


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