The fear surrounding the bodies of people who died due to Covid-19 is such that family members of the dead aren’t allowed to see or touch them.
Despite all the risks, Abdul Malabari in Surat, Gujarat is the one name officials call when anyone dies of the coronavirus.
For decades, the 51-year-old, has been performing funerals of unclaimed dead bodies in Surat. And now he is doing the same for Covid victims.
According to a report by BBC, Abdul was just 21 when he first buried the body of a stranger who died from HIV, after her family abandoned the body.
Following this, he started a charity funeral service for abandoned and unclaimed bodies. Speaking to BBC, he recalled how he convinced his family who were initially against the decision.
I remember telling them how Islam says its every citizen’s duty to help and carry out a person’s final journey out of humanity and respect. I was just doing that as a fellow human being.
Till now, Surat has registered 19 deaths due to Covid-19 and the city administration is thankful to Abdul for his services.
Over the years, his charity has grown to 35 volunteers across different religious faiths and some 1,500 donors.
Right now, when the fear of transmission of the virus is too much, Abdul and his team sleep in their office to protect their families. They are also taking all the necessary precautions while handling the bodies of Covid-19 victims.