Mandleshwar: Kith and kin are facing hardships in performing last rites of their loved ones during the second wave of corona, but the selfless service of a man whom they encounter on the banks of Narmada leaves them surprised to no end.
Meet 40-year-old Santosh Joshi, a one-man army who provides essential items, 7 days a week, to the kin for performing the final Hindu ritual known as Antim Sanskar or Antyeshti of their loved ones.
Joshi terms his service as 'Shradhanjali' which means paying a tribute to the departed soul. He is rendering this very uncommon service for 11 years.
Joshi provides his services at Mandleshwar and Maheshwar Muktidham.
He maintains that he helps people without any expectation as he earns his livelihood from a tea stall near bus Sstand which he operates during evening hours.
He is also looking after the upkeep of the Muktidham.
In Mandleshwar only Muktidhamhas large number of shady trees. Many social organisations plant saplings here but it is Joshi who has raised them into trees.
Santosh Joshi said that his attempts to get honorarium, for this work, from the municipal council were foiled due to petty politics.
To satisfy some locals with inflated ego Joshi shifted to Maheshwar Muktidham. But during the second wave of corona he moved back to his place and started serving at the Muktidham of Mandleshwar.