Families in Pune struggle to mourn death of loved ones in the time of Covid-19
For most who lost their loved ones, their lives have now turned upside downUpdated: Apr 28, 2020, 16:36 IST
The month of April usually brings more business for Javed Kazi, an electrician by profession. This time though it was a double whammy for Kazi as Covid-19 (coronavirus) killed his 50-year-old mother on April 14.
“The virus did not just take away my mother, but everything from me. Post her death, we (the family members) were tested and found positive for Sars-Cov-2 virus,” said Kazi implying that he didn’t even get time to console for the loss of his mother.
The story is no different for the 26-year-old resident of Hadapsar who works at a multinational company in the city. The youth, who requested anonymity, lost his 73-year-old father at Nobel hospital on April 8, six days after he was hospitalised for respiratory illness and tested positive for Covid-19.
Though none of the other three members from the family of deceased tested positive, they had to be quarantined as they were in contact with 73-year-old.
“It was tragic as we could not be on the side of our father when he passed away. Moreover, due to government guidelines, we could not attend the final rites of our father,” said the eldest son of the deceased.
For most who lost their loved ones, their lives have now turned upside down. “The tragedy took away everything from us. I am the sole breadwinner of my family and the lockdown has prevented me from stepping out, leaving me in a difficult position at home to manage finances,” said Kazi, who also could attend final rites of his mother.
In most cases of Covid-19 related deaths in Pune, which has seen 75 deaths till Monday afternoon, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) along with a couple of NGOs have been helping cremate bodies.
Razi Khan, a member of the Popular Front of India whose volunteers are closely working with the civic administration to perform last rites of Covid-19 victims from the Muslim community, said till now they have buried 20 bodies in the city.
“We are burying the bodies which are not claimed by their family members as they are either quarantined or are kept in hospitals. In some of the cases, we managed to make the bereaved family members part of the last rites rituals through video calls,” said Khan.
In another case from Baramati, when 30-year-old Sameer Bagwan lost his father, a vegetable vendor who died at Sassoon hospital in the city, the shock was so that he did not share the news with mother for next few days. “Most of our family members were tested positive after my father’s death and we were put under quarantine. We were unable to perform the last rites of my father. However, we decided to be strong to overcome the crisis,” said Bagwan.