Dealing with death is tough business during lockdown

LN Revathy Coimbatore | Updated on April 01, 2020

You can defer weddings and celebrations, but can you postpone births and deaths?

In times of lockdown, the families that lose their loved ones cannot perform the usual rituals, or last rites, except for collecting the ash from the crematorium or consider burying without a coffin at the burial ground.

All such rituals, mass or prayers have to wait till after the lockdown, say those that perform such services.

Crematorium attenders do not have a pass. So invariably the people who accompany the body or the ambulance staff who assist in shifting the body either from the deceased’s residence or the hospital, help dispose of the body at the crematorium.

“Crematorium attenders should be given passes, masks and safety gear, for they are the real warriors. The government should also ensure to cover them under the insurance scheme,” said M Krishnan of Sri Krishna Sweets.

A couple of people (who had lost someone in the family in the last 10 days) that this correspondent spoke to said they accepted the restrictions in view of the virus threat.

A security guard at a crematorium in Coimbatore said they permit only five persons to accompany the body, that too wearing masks and maintaining social distance.

In rural areas where there are no electric crematoriums, it is learnt that there are not enough hands to lift the body to the cremation ground. Yet people seem to be coping with this trauma in silence.

Published on April 01, 2020

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