When humanity is in full bloom — Two policewomen perform last rites of more than 700 unclaimed bodies, in Coimbatore

Praveena works at the All Women Police Station, Perur, and Amina is attached to the Mettupalayam station. The two policewomen have been doing this service with Jeeva Shanthy Trust.

August 18, 2022 03:21 pm | Updated August 19, 2022 12:32 am IST - COIMBATORE

K. Praveena (left) taking a dead body for last rites in Coimbatore.

K. Praveena (left) taking a dead body for last rites in Coimbatore. | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Two women police personnel from Coimbatore — K. Praveena and M. Amina — have been going beyond their call of duty for the past several years.

Together, the two policewomen have given a dignified farewell to more than 700 dead bodies that were unknown or unclaimed in Coimbatore district.

Ms. Praveena (33) works at the All Women Police Station, Perur, and Ms. Amina (38) is attached to the Mettupalayam station. They have been doing this social service with Jeeva Shanthy Trust, which performs last rites of the abandoned and unclaimed bodies, rescue the destitute and mentally-challenged people from the streets and attend to poor patients in government hospitals and other services.

“I am doing the service for the past seven years. Jointly with the trust and volunteers, I have helped for the last rites of more than 600 dead bodies,” said Ms. Praveena, a mother of two, who receives the support from her superiors and husband U. Yuvaraj.

During the initial lockdown of the COVID-19 pandemic, she cooked food from her police quarters at Perur and gave parcels to homeless and poor people in the area, for three months. Inspector General of Police (West Zone) and Coimbatore District Superintendent of Police have acknowledged her service.

Constable M. Amina, paying last respects of an unclaimed body, after burial, in Coimbatore district.

Constable M. Amina, paying last respects of an unclaimed body, after burial, in Coimbatore district. | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Ms. Amina has assisted the trust in performing the last rites of more than 100 people in the past four years. A mother of two children, she receives immense support from her husband A. Anwardeen, fellow personnel at the station and superiors.

“Some of the photos of me helping for the last rites of unknown persons circulated on social media platforms. I received a call from the office of the Director General of Police on Tuesday and I was asked to come to the headquarters on Wednesday. I never thought I could receive such an honour from the head of the force and interact with him,” she said. DGP C. Sylendra Babu presented her a certificate of appreciation and a cash prize of ₹5,000.

M. Amina receiving a letter of appreciation from DGP C. Sylendra Babu on August 17, 2022

M. Amina receiving a letter of appreciation from DGP C. Sylendra Babu on August 17, 2022 | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

“The two policemen are inspiring a lot of personnel to step into social service. As they help to bury or cremate unclaimed and abandoned bodies, most of the corpses would be in decomposing stage. Unmindful of these factors, they do their service with dedication,” said Mohamad Saleem, founder of Jeeva Shanthy Trust, which has arranged last rites for about 12,000 dead bodies out of which around 2,000 bodies were of COVID-19 victims. On the Independence Day, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. K. Stalin presented the CM’s State Youth Award to M. Mohamad Ashick (29), organiser of Jeeva Shanthy Trust, for his service to the society.

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