‘I will not hesitate to be a pallbearer if one’s blood relatives refuse to do last rites’
Dispelling fear among citizens about possible transmission of coronavirus should they participate in a funeral of COVID-19 death funeral, Prohibition and Excise, and Tourism Minister V. Srinivas Goud set an example by taking part in the funeral of a 85-year-old man in Mahbubnagar on Monday.
Mr. Goud, who and rushed to console the bereaved family after learning about the death, said it was pathetic and unthinkable that close blood relatives were shying away from attending the funeral. “This must stop now, as the dead need to be given a decent funeral,” he told The Hindu.
Recalling the yeoman service rendered by the victim, the Minister exclaimed if even Good Samaritans were discarded and junked, it sends across a bad message about the dwindling ethos. Clad in PPE, he went to the farm of the victim around 4 p.m., where his three sons performed the last rites but none of their family members took part.
“At least 10 people must attend a funeral. I was appalled by the inhumane attitude,” he said.
He assured that he would take part in cremations and burial services of COVID-19 victims henceforth in the district and if possible across the State. “If there are any unattended or unclaimed bodies of COVID victims and their sons are not willing to take up the responsibility, I will not hesitate to be a pallbearer and walk the talk. Every person needs a decent funeral and the pandemic should not be allowed to alter the relationships among relatives, friends and dear ones,” Mr. Goud said.
‘Show moral support’
He said that his Cabinet colleagues and lawmakers across Telangana should take up the initiative to attend funerals and give moral support to the bereaved families. “If no one comes, I will take up the responsibility to ensure a decent last rites defeating the respective religious sentiment,” he said.
He said that last month, when a famous general physician from Mahbubnagar, who was the classmate of former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy in medicine, succumbed to the infection, none from the medical fraternity attending his funeral.