At a time when the word Corona itself has become synonymous with dread and terror, the plight of the victims of this disease is truly unspeakable. Even the lifeless bodies have to suffer the apathy and neglect in this time of crisis. There are instances where families of the victims have abandoned their near ones just because of the fear of catching the virus. In such a situation, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh that has been on the forefront of providing services to the needy ones has yet again stepped forward. It has given a hand to make the final journey of departed souls easier.
Ever since the outbreak of the Chinese virus, RSS is providing assistance to all the strata of the society in different forms such as providing groceries and ration, providing sanitizers and masks, helping the administration in providing relief to the stranded people. However, a big problem for the administration was to dispose off the unclaimed dead bodies of Corona victims. With the kind of panic created by the pandemic, many dead bodies of the Corona victims lie unclaimed. Their relatives are not willing to perform their last rites. Also, the dead bodies of the Corona patients are to be disposed off in a particular manner which is why the relatives are helpless in some cases. This has became quite a problem at many places in the country.
The way out is shown by the RSS in Nashik. A group of volunteers from RSS Jankalyan Samiti lent a helping hand to the administration and showed readiness to perform the last rites on the dead bodies. The initiative has come to fruition now. The Nashik city has seen 8 deaths due to Corona till now and this group has performed last rites on five of them. The notable fact is that four of these bodies were of Hindus while one was Muslim.
The group of volunteers includes RSS Sah Shahar Karyavah Mangesh Khadilkar, Mandar Olatikar, Dhanraj Deshpande, Advaiy Deshpande, Swapnil Joshi and Jayesh Kshemkalyani. Speaking about the initiative Sanjay Chandratre, the Shahar Karyavah of RSS said, "While doing various relief works, we came across this problem and we decided to come forward for this. A written undertaking was given by the Jankalyan SamitI to the district Civil Hospital to carry out this task."The district civil hospital also helped a lot regarding this task. It also provided PPE kits and other safety gears to the volunteers. Dr Bharat Kelkar provided guidance on all the precautions to be taken while performing this task.
Khadilkar said, “Since the beginning of the pandemic, we were involved in various service works. We notice that people were hesitant in taking the bodies fearing that they would also catch Corona. In some cases, there were procedural hurdles also. This was a very sorry scene and we decided to take the onus on ourselves. According, a letter was given to District Civil Surgeon Dr. Nilesh Jejurkar who readily accepted the proposal. Since last eight to 10 days, the administration conveys us whenever such a case arises. We do not have any time frame for this service. As long as people are afraid of Corona and do not come forward to perform the last rites, we will keep doing our duty.”
After the rites are performed, the volunteers have to quarantine themselves for 24 hours and are allowed to who mix in the family only after medical examination. The volunteers feel this work gives them mental peace and a sense of fulfilment.