Satish Yadav,40, has been recording the births and deaths of Sarfabad village for the last seven years.
Yadav — Sarfabad’s real-life Chitragupta (the mythical Hindu god who keeps records of actions of humans and decides if they go to heaven or hell after death) — has recorded every new birth and death of the village since 2009.
He maintains a diary mentioning the cause and time of death of every Sarfabad villager, a Yadav-dominated hamlet with a population of over 10,000 near Noida Sector 73.
“I started doing this because villagers often used to forget the date of birth and death of their family members. Since, my records help them obtain birth and death certificates, I am happy to contribute,” said Yadav.
His diary, however, shows the last recorded death on August 19, when a 65-year-old, Naurang, had died of a paralytic attack. Since then, his red coloured diary has remained untouched.
Yadav is one of the many victims admitted to Shivalik Hospital in Hoshiyarpur after coming down with a mysterious viral fever that has gripped his village.
According to health department, a total of eight villagers have died in the last 15 days in the village due to the mysterious fever. The villagers claim the death toll is much higher.
“This is the first time that I have seen such a sudden spike in the number of deaths in the village,” Yadav said from his hospital bed.
Yadav was admitted in Shivalik Hospital on August 24 after he complained of high fever and body pain. His brothers Sant Ram and Shyam Lal suffered from fever and were admitted in Shivalik and Prayag hospitals.
“In 2014, there were 22 deaths, in 2015, around 19 people died and in 2016 the death toll was 22 till August 19. Since then, we have not updated the number of deaths that have taken place in pas week,” said Yadav’s Sherpal.