Express News Service
NEW DELHI: At a time when people are abandoning the bodies of their Covid affected kin in fear of the infection, a 54-year-old Assistant Sub Inspector has postponed his daughter’s wedding in his pursuit to give the dead a dignified end in this time of pandemic.
Posted at Nizamuddin police station, Rakesh Kumar is going beyond his usual patrol duty to help cremate the dead at Lodhi Road crematorium. Until now, he has helped 1,100 people and lit pyres of 50 others.
“I am on Covid duty since last year. And this year as the Lodhi creamtorium comes in our jurisdiction, we are working relentlessly for the tragedy-hit families. The pandemic has hit many of us psychologically, physically and mentally… Seeing piles of bodies make us jittery. But, at this time, we should all help each other,” said Kumar. “I don’t know when this pandemic will end, but we should help each other.”
Since April 13, Kumar has neither visited his home nor met anyone from his family who stay in Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh.
Apart from two sons and daughters each, the Kumars share their home with elderly parents. The elder son is married and his family stays with them.
Given that Kumar has a joint family, he prefers to stay in the barracks of Nizamuddin police station in this trying times.
Police mess takes care of his fooding. The ASI keeps his family members updated through video and audio calls. For safety, the ASI practises yoga daily and has completed his quota of two shots of vaccine.
When asked about his health and daughter’s marriage, he said, “This is not the time for a wedding. People are dying. Children are getting orphaned…In such a painful time, I cannot even imagine celebration in my dream. Helping each other is the need of the hour.”