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As Family Stays Away Fearing Covid, Muslims Help Man Perform Last Rites of Wife in Meerut

A group of Muslim men in Meerut carried a Hindu woman’s bier as her husband waited for hours in vain for his family members to turn up to take the body for cremation. At a time when fear of coronavirus spread has thrown family and social duties out of gear, the Muslim men’s act of helping the grieving man perform the last rites of his wife has earned praise from several sections of society. A clip of the incident has now gone viral.

According to reports, the woman, named Sushma Aggarwal, who lived near Hapur, was unwell for a few days before breathing her last. Her husband then rushed from Varanasi to complete the last rites. When no one in the family and immediate acquaintances turned up for the cremation, one Tehseen Ansari reached the couple’s home with some of his companions and took the bier (arthi) on their shoulders to Surajkund crematorium and helped the man perform the final rites following Hindu rituals.

Several cases of near and dear ones staying away even at such hours due to fear of coronavirus have been reported over the past few months, even as stories of people going out of their ways to help others and even strangers are making news from across the nation.

Earlier, one Faizul from Prayagraj was in headlines for lending a helping hand in carrying bodies of COVID-hit individuals for cremation free of cost. Faizul has missed fasting during Ramzan to help people complete the last rites of their near ones. He is not only providing free hearse car services to the poor and needy amid the pandemic, but also extending help to conduct the last rites of orphans.

Faizul, who lives in the Atrasuiya area of Prayagraj, has been working for the last 10 years to provide vehicles to carry bodies of the poor for free, but as coronavirus struck, he made that his help reached all those who were in need. As soon as he gets a call, he is on the move with his vehicle. He never asks anyone for money, but accepts the same if someone offers on their own.

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