Tamil Nadu

Coronavirus | TMMK volunteers help to bury or cremate COVID-19 victims

Noble cause: Volunteers of the medical wing of the TMMK engaged in the burial of a COVID-19 victim in Coimbatore.  

Even while observing the dawn-to-dusk Ramzan fasting, volunteers of the medical wing of the Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (TMMK) continue the service they started last year — offering a decent burial or cremation of COVID-19 victims.

The volunteers have so far helped to bury or cremate over 2,170 persons of different faiths. “Our volunteers helped in the burial or cremation of 1,820 persons who died of COVID-19 till March 31. More than 350 bodies were handled in April alone, till Monday,” says M. Mohamed Rafi, joint secretary of the medical wing. The TMMK started the service, seeing the reluctance of people to perform the last rites of their beloved ones who died of the contagion.

The volunteers do not charge for their service. But the cost of the personal protective equipment they use and the cremation and burial charges are borne by the families of the deceased. “If a family is unable to bear these expenses, volunteers try to source money from sponsors,” Mr. Rafi says.

The volunteers transport the body from the hospital to the burial ground or cemetery or crematorium.

Religious rites are arranged by the kin of the deceased. In the case of cremation, they take the body to the crematorium and hand it over to the staff there. And in the case of burial, the volunteers themselves do the work.

In the month of Ramzan, they are working in two shifts. Around 50% of the volunteers have taken the COVID-19 vaccine, Mr. Rafi says. Efforts are being made to get the others vaccinated.

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Printable version | Jun 24, 2021 8:45:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tmmk-volunteers-help-to-bury-or-cremate-covid-19-victims/article34426335.ece

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