While fear, hesitation grip Chandigarh residents bidding adieu to their loved ones, crematorium workers rise to the occasion
At a time when social distancing has become the norm, the three-member team at LPG crematorium is helping the UT administration cremate bodies of those who have died of Covid-19Updated: Apr 27, 2020 22:54 IST
“In my 40 years of career, I have seen many different emotions in people who have lost their loved ones. But this is the first time that I am seeing fear and hesitation,” says Gulzar Singh, a 57-year-old worker at the LPG crematorium in Sector 25, Chandigarh.
At a time when social distancing has become the norm, Gulzar and his team members Surender Kumar, 38, and Raghubir Singh, 39, are helping the UT administration cremate bodies of those who have died of Covid-19.
Surender and Raghubir recall the first time they cremated a Covid positive person. “It was a moment of great fear. Neither were we given any training nor were we taught any protocol on how to handle such cases. We, too, have families. But we could see the helplessness of the deceased’s son,” says Surender.
‘‘Since the government had mandated wearing of PPE suits, we waited for the gear to arrive, and as soon as it did, we immediately cremated his father,” Raghubir adds.
To date, a total of four persons who have died of Covid-19 have been cremated at the LPG crematorium.
The most difficult cremation for them, however, was that of the six-month-old baby. “I have never cremated a child before. I was shocked that no family member accompanied the dead infant,” says Gulzar, adding, “She was brought here by the Red Cross workers.”
Back home, these unsung heroes have their own share of troubles. “Since our relatives got to know about the work that we have been doing at the crematorium, they have started maintaining a distance from us, which is fine because these days everybody fears for their lives. But we are performing our duty, we too need to earn and run the family,” say the trio.