When 52-year-old Bhavani, a resident of the Janavasati Colony in Puttur taluk’s Vidyapura, passed after a cardiac arrest on Saturday, the only person left grieving was her brother Krishna. Bhavani was unmarried, and Krishna didn’t have enough money to conduct her final rites.
When Krishna urged his relatives and his fellow locals to help him, no one came forward to help. The clock kept ticking, and it was almost afternoon. Bhavani’s body remained at Krishna’s house. But nobody came.
Krishna had almost given up all hopes of giving his dead sister a dignified funeral when a group of Muslim men came to his rescue.
Shaukath, Hamza, Nazeer, Riyaz and Farooq were moved by Krishna’s plight and started collecting funds to cremate Bhavani’s body.
An Anganwadi teacher, Rajeshwari, along with locals Safia and Zubaida volunteered to bathe the body. They later shifted the body to the Puttur cremation ground in an ambulance and conducted the last rites.
Speaking to The Times of India, one of the men, Farooq said, “We did not do it for publicity. We came forward to help, not considering the caste or religion of the deceased. We wanted to send a message that the dead should not be denied the last rites.”
It isn’t the first time that death that brought people closer and helped break man-made barriers. Only last month, a story of unconditional friendship moved people across the nation as a Muslim man, Rabi Sheikh gave his friend, Milan Das, a dignified funeral and performed all the traditional Hindu rites, when the police couldn’t track his family. Read more about Milan and Rabi’s story here.
While death is perceived as the greatest loss in one’s life, Bhavani’s death became a catalyst for inclusiveness and a symbol of communal harmony.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)