Sikhs begin free hearse service for Covid victims

Lucknow, May 6 (IANS) The Sikh community in Lucknow has, once again, risen to the occasion.
After organizing food langars and mask langar, the Lucknow Gurdwara Prabhandhak Committee (LGPC) along with Gurdwara Sadar and two city-based NGOs, Ummeed and Insaniyat Foundations, have started a free hearse service for citizens.
The initiative that began on Wednesday after a prayer service at Gurdwara Sadar, is designed to cater to Covid patients who die and the families are hesitant to cremate the bodies.
To begin with, two hearse vans are available which will cater to families across the city as and when required.
The gurdwara has also generated various helpline numbers through which volunteers can be contacted.
“The service is free of cost and the vans are equipped with essential protective equipment such as PPE kit, masks and sanitisers for the safety of the volunteers as well as families of the deceased. As soon as we get the information about a patient having died, we reach the destination, carry the deceased and family members who are willing to join us and leave for the cremation ground where we help families in performing the last rites. In case of no family member, we perform the last rites. On the first day we received a few calls from South City and adjoining areas,” said Harpal Singh Jaggi, president, Gurdwara Sadar (Gurdwara Sri Guru Nanak Satsang Sabha).
The services will be available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. “Volunteers of different faiths have joined us to serve the public in the pandemic,” LGPC president Rajendra Singh Bagga.
There have been several cases in recent weeks where families have left the Covid bodies in the mortuary and have not claimed them.
Recently, a journalist died and his family did not claim the body after which the police men performed the cremation.
Most people are wary of claiming Covid bodies since they fear that they could also get infected.

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