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PFI volunteers step up to perform last rites for COVID victims

Considering the frequent denial of burial of COVID-19 victims, about 200 volunteers of Popular Front of India have taken up an initiative to perform their last rites. So far, they have performed more than 90 burials in Chennai alone, and similar efforts are being done in other districts and States.

PFI volunteers step up to perform last rites for COVID victims


The family members of the victims, who are unable to perform the last rites due to safety protocols or because they are already in quarantine or related problems, have been contacting these volunteers to ensure safe and decent burial or cremation of their kin.

"The fear of contracting the infection is high among the families. There have been several incidents of the deceased being denied burial or cremation. Thus, we decided to ensure a decent farewell to these victims as per their rituals or religious customs. The civic and Health Department officials, and burial ground authorities have been cooperating with our volunteers to help us perform the last rites," said a senior representative from the organisation.

The volunteers have performed more than 423 burials in several states, including 123 in Tamil Nadu, of which 90 were in Chennai.

"The family members of the deceased would be present in the burial ground but at a distance. Our volunteers dig the pit and lay the bodies. We follow the safety protocols recommended by World Health Organisation for disposal of COVID victims’ bodies, and volunteers wear personal protective equipment. A large number of well-wishers are coming forward to donate PPE kits to our volunteers," said Mohammed Ismail, State executive council member of PFI.

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