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After Losing Friend to COVID-19, Judo Champ Ferries Thousands of Bodies to Crematorium

Listen to Rajkummar Rao on Spotify as he speaks of unsung heroes like Versha Varma who unflinchingly ferries thousands of dead bodies to the crematorium.

In April 2021, Lucknow-based Versha had to undergo the harrowing experience of losing someone close. She had just lost a friend to COVID, and it took her almost 3-4 hours to get an ambulance or van to transport the corpse to the crematorium.

This was because every time she approached a driver, they demanded at least Rs 10,000 to 15,000 to drive a short distance of 4 kms.

This disturbing experience opened her eyes to the situation faced by numerous families and pushed her to take up the matter in her own hands.

A national-level Judo champion and a published poet, Versha has since then been tirelessly ferrying deceased COVID-19 patients for free and conducting their last rites as well.

Even when family members of deceased COVID patients are fearful of performing the last rites of the dead, Versha has been risking her life and making countless trips between hospitals and crematoriums to ensure dignity for the dead and has helped more than 1,500 people so far.

At a time when the pandemic has been wreaking havoc on all of our lives, inspiring stories like these act as a beacon of hope.

These are ordinary people, selfless and unknown, who have decided to step out of their comfort zones and help each other even amid a raging pandemic. Their courage and kindness is what makes these good Samaritans extraordinary.

To celebrate this courage and selflessness, Spotify has launched a show called Ruk Jaana Nahi, hosted by Indian cinema actor Rajkummar Rao.

The podcast starts with the actor narrating a poem written by lyricist Swanand Kirkire, followed by eight episodes. 

The episodes highlight several heartwarming video and audio stories about these superheroes, one of them being about Versha.

Spotify has launched a series of podcasts to highlight such stories of seemingly ordinary people achieving extraordinary impact through their work. Covering citizens, frontline workers to doctors, this podcast showcases young India and the sacrifices they are making to help other people in need.

Stream episodes of the podcast here.

Cover image source: Facebook


This article has been published in partnership with Spotify.