Ayub Ahmed from Mysuru, Karnataka was hardly 10 or 11 years old when he stopped going to school. Instead he would spend his day sitting with beggars outside a mosque near his house.
His father and uncle would often beat him up for skipping school. However, when Ayub told them that the beggars outside the mosque need his help and helping them seemed more important to him than going to school, they realized that Ayub was not an ordinary child.
As Ayub grew up he started working as a porter to help his father. All his earnings, however, would go in helping the poor and downtrodden.
And then came the day Ayub realized his life’s mission. About 18 years ago, when Ayub was still a teenager, he saw a body on the road while travelling in his friend’s car from Mysuru to Gundlupet.
Ayub was upset by looking at the body, but he did not do anything thinking that the deceased’s kin would take care of it.
But while travelling back to Mysuru, almost eight hours later, he was shocked to see the body lying at the same location. He then picked up the body, put it in the car and took it to a morgue. When the police heard about this, they praised Ayub and also rewarded him with money.
However, the act which was a matter of pride and satisfaction for Ayub and the policemen, was not well received by his friends and relatives. He was criticized for picking up an unidentified body which, according to his relatives, was the job of a particular community. Scared that even his father wouldn’t support him, Ayub ran away to Bengaluru with the money he got from the police.
“Those days people used to avoid going to the house were someone has died for about a month as a ritual. Picking up an unidentified dead body was a huge issue for them. They hated me for doing this,” said Ayub while speaking to TBI from Mysuru.
Ayub started working in a small water purification plant in Bengaluru. His boss was so happy with his work that one day, he called Ayub, gave him some money and asked him to explore the city.
The first place Ayub visited was Lal Bagh. Odd as it may sound, Ayub again came across an unidentified body lying in the bushes. His mind went back to years ago, when he had taken the body to a morgue, and of people’s reaction to that.
But his conscience didn’t let him abandon the body, which might have been family to someone.
He picked up the body and handed it over to the Bengaluru police. He was again rewarded for his act. At this point, Ayub realized that he was not doing anything wrong and he came back to Mysuru with the determination to carry on with this noble work in his own city.
“When I came back, my Abba supported me fully. He said that he was very proud of me,” says Ayub.
So Ayub started his work again without any guilt. He had saved Rs.10, 000 from his work stint in Bengaluru.
He took a loan and bought the same Ambassador car from his friend, the one he had used to pick up the first body many years ago.
Ayub is now lovingly called ‘Body Miyan’ in Mysuru. His wife and two daughters also support his work though he earns almost nothing from it. His wife works as a tailor to support the family.
Body Miyan searches for unidentified bodies, shifts them to the morgue, informs the police and if no one claims the body, he even does the last rites.
So far, Body Miyan has cremated thousands of bodies that were unclaimed.
He also puts up pictures of the dead bodies on his Facebook page and appeals to people to contact him if they identify the person.
“There are many instances when a near and dear one of the deceased comes looking for them. When they come to know about me they thank me with tears in their eyes. Some have even told me that I am like an angel to them. This is more than any wealth for me,” says a smiling and satisfied Body Miyan.
Ayub now wishes to get an ambulance so he can help shift more bodies to the morgue at once.
“Sometimes I find more than three to four bodies in a day. It would be easier if I get an ambulance,” says Ayub.
If you wish to contribute for an ambulance for Body Miyan, you can reach him on 7676147371.