Chennai

Residents of Anna Nagar Western Extension provide crematorium caretaker with essentials and a cash assistance

V. Rajagopal hands over a grocery kit to D. Velayudam. Photo: special arrangement

V. Rajagopal hands over a grocery kit to D. Velayudam. Photo: special arrangement  

The COVID-19 crisis has dampened everyone’s spirits and they would do with some cheering up and help. So, members of Anna Nagar Western Extension Phase — II Residents Welfare Association mobilised funds and bought 30-year-old D. Velayudam, caretaker of a crematorium on TVS Colony Main Road in Mogappair, essentials that would be of some help to him in running his home as well as dispensing his work safely. The goodwill pack extended to Velayudam consists of groceries, face masks, gloves and cash. Except for the cash, which was pooled in by the 250 families in the neighbourhood, all the essential items were provided by long-time resident, V. Rajagopal.

Log-time residents of that region know Velayudam’s family well, down to his grandfather who worked at the decades-old crematoirum, and so did Velayudam’s father, G. Duraikannan. Over the years, Velayudum's family has earned a good name among the these residents, as they carry the funeral proceedings promptly without any delay. They also ensure that the bereaved family gets the death certificate from the civic body on time. His family has been in-charge of three crematoriums, one each in ward 87 (Elango Nagar), 88 (Pandurangapuram) and 90 (Padikuppam) of Greater Chennai Corporation.

“Like health workers and the police, these caretakers have to report for work every day, being out there during the lockdown. So, we decided to help Velayudum and his family in a small way,” says V. Rajagopal, president, Anna Nagar Western Extension Phase — II Residents Welfare Association.

At present, the zone-7 (Ambattur) of the Chennai Corporation has 29 burial grounds including one modern electric crematorium near defunct Dunlop company, off CTH Road, opposite the zonal office. On an average, each caretaker, assisted by a few workers, would have to take care of four to five crematoriums within the limits of Ambattur zone. Caretakers are provided with a small room at every crematorium, and their work hours are said to be long. On an average, each crematorium gets at least five bodies every month

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 2:48:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/residents-of-anna-nagar-western-extension-provide-crematorium-caretaker-with-essentials-and-a-cash-assistance/article31606496.ece

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