Coronavirus in Mumbai: Muslims cremate and bury COVID-19 victims on Eid

Even in these dark times, when the world is struggling to survive, acts of goodwill are transcending the boundaries of faith to exemplify community living.

On May 25, on the auspicious day of Eid festival Muslims across Mumbai tried to maintain a low profile celebration, adhering to the social distancing norms.

For the Muslim volunteers of Raza Academy, Eid this year, appeared to be a regular day as all of them were involved in the cremation and burial of the bodies of COVID-19 fatalities.

In cases where, the kin of those who died due to the Novel Coronavirus pandemic refused to perform the last rites of the deceased, these volunteers have been doing so for over three months now.

Volunteers of the Islamic community organisation - Raza Academy are involved in doing the last rites of COVID-19 fatalities, ever since the dreaded virus took a grip in the city. The group of volunteers comprise of an 80 people task force who have been officially appointed by the Mumbai civic body for this purpose.

On May 25, the members buried the bodies of 14 Muslims and cremated the bodies of seven Hindus who succumbed to COVID-19.

"Serving the people means serving the people. While the world is fighting dreaded pandemic our continuing our service has been our moral duty" said Sabir Nirban spokesperson Raza Academy.

"Ever since the dreaded virus has paralyzed the city we are involved in the service. We didn't stop for a day and our volunteers have been working 24x7. The Eid celebrations could be grander once we get rid of the pandemic" added Nirban.

After a patient succumbs to COVID-19, medical officials put the family members into home quarantine. It is during this time when these volunteers take all the responsibility. From acquiring NOC certificates to coordinating with police officers, the volunteers performs the last rites step by step, with immense respect.

The volunteers have their own seven ambulances which are used for mobilisation. Apart from this, they use JCB machines for digging the ground.

Alongside this, the volunteers have also donated 10,000 PPE and sanitisation kits to the at risk and essential service providers battling the global pandemic.

"Our primary purpose is to defeat Corona. I am sure the way unites everyone in standing beside each other, we will be able to defeat the dreaded disease soon" stated Nirban.

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