It’s terrible to cremate 20 bodies a day, say safai karamcharis

It’s terrible to cremate 20 bodies a day, say safai karamcharis

Municipal Corporation workers cremate Covid victims in Hisar. tribune photo

Deepender Deswal

Tribune News Service

Hisar, May 3

Their shift starts at 7 am and continues till late in the evening. Five safai karamcharis, currently given the task of cremating Covid victims, have been witnessing psychological trauma and physical duress of the kind of ‘work’ they had never thought of doing in their lifetime.

They also have to console the family members of the Covid victims who yearn for a glimpse of their loved ones for one last time.

“We keep at least five pyres ready in advance. On an average, we cremate 20 bodies a day. It takes around one hour to complete the formalities and cremate one body”, said Rajesh Bagri, a member of the cremation team at Rishi Nagar in Hisar.

The team reaches the cremation ground at 7 am, collects the ashes and hand it over to the families. Then they sanitise the entire cremation ground and start preparing the pyres.

“By 10 am, we are ready with five platforms to lay the bodies. This is the kind of task which we had never though of doing. We are shocked and shaken. This trauma won’t go away. My grandfather and other elderly people used to talk about the Spanish flu outbreak about a century ago. Now, we are witness to the deadly coronavirus,” said Bagri.

Due to heavy load, the district authorities recently formed three teams for performing cremations at the Rishi Nagar cremation ground, Azad nagar cremation ground in Hisar and in Agroha town.

The health department gives them separate PPE kits and 100 kits are used on a daily basis.

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