As the COVID-19 deaths are rising, it is killing both Hindus and Muslims in large numbers. The dead bodies are having long rows across the nation. Electric crematoriums turned into traditional cremation grounds by rows of burning fires at the same time Kabristans the Muslim graveyards are also overstuffed.
The number of incoming dead has increased three to four times over the last few days. There is black marketing in booking; the one who has money to feed or bribe, their family member will get cremated first. Form Pandas (one who performs rituals) Dome (one who clears the ashes after burning dead body) all are charging as per their whims and fancy. Funeral has become a very expensive and challenging affair.
Families hardly get to mourn or see the body of a loved one; some bodies start stinking in long waiting rows. In cemeteries, it is even more horrible, a COVID grave takes longer to dig, for the government has stated it must be six to eight feet deep in contrast to a normal grave that is four to five feet deep.
There are no spaces for more graves. Such a horrible situation was never expected. Relatives of the dead are being forced to wait hours for their turn. The situation is the same at every graveyard of Mumbai.
The graveyards are receiving a dozen bodies in 24 hours. Gravediggers, who used to charge Rs 500 a grave, are demanding between Rs 4000 and Rs 5000. One person is digging many graves, which is more than his capacity. Corruption seems to be making no difference between ‘Smashan’ and ‘Kabristan’.
One needs to pay between Rs 20000 and Rs 30000 to speed up the cremation. This includes Rs 7500 for the firewood to prepare a pyre, although Municipal officials claim the total cost of firewood and other material shouldn’t be more than Rs 5000.
On the other hand, an average of 150 bodies are arriving daily at the city’s various crematoriums, which can burn barely 100 bodies a day. There are electric incinerators that have a maximum combined capacity of burning 72 bodies a day, while the rest are burnt on pyres. So, bodies are piling up in those states where deaths rates are high and no place for cremation.
In many states like Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh crematorium complexes have been fenced on all sides with tin sheets, evidently, to hide the ugly COVID truth from people — officials said there were no such plans for the graveyards.
Maharashtra COVID cases are high but the recovery rates are much better, here there is no much chaos in the crematorium, yes there is a marginal wait but somehow the bodies are getting disposed of with all mandatory conducts.
BMC is doing the right thing to stop the spread of coronavirus in Mumbai. Everyone knows that coronavirus cannot survive over 25 degree Celsius and cremating corona infected dead bodies will ensure that there won’t be any further spread of corona from the dead bodies. Even during this corona crisis, some fanatics are trying to link the disposal of the infected bodies without spreading the virus to religious faith.
Let’s leave Cremation or Burial aside for a while. and think, can we allow our loved ones to become food for scavengers like dogs, hyenas, vultures, etc? Most will feel horrid and disapprove. these days many dead bodies are flowing in Ganga and other rivers. The human dead bodies are eaten by scavengers.
The government is being exposed at cremation grounds, with each death of a COVID patient. The dead bodies and cremation workers showing us apathy. This is a failure of the government, there is no doubt about it. People are struggling, dying to get basic healthcare facilities. In many months, the government has been deaf, dumb, and blind. Our chatterbox PM is muted, many election campaigners, those who hold home-like crucial portfolios are mute and missing.
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