Disturbing content alert: Some readers may find the pictures in the article disturbing.
It is a distant dream for many to get a roof over their head or eat three times a day in India. According to an FAO report, more than 190 million people go to bed hungry every day. This strips them of their dignity, but a group of youngsters from Tamil Nadu is determined to ensure at least their burial happens with a little dignity.
A group of 20 friends was involved in community services like blood donation and helping cops manage traffic a few years back. Through this, they came in contact with a lot of police officials. Five years ago, the group received a call from a police officer asking them to help him bury an unclaimed body. They responded not just by burying the body but followed up with all the rituals necessary. Thus, Jeeva Shanthi Trust was born five years back. Saleem, one of the members of the trust, said,
This city has people pouring in every day in both extremes - the rich and the poor. We haven’t been of any help to the poor people while they were alive. Hence, we wanted to do something in a way of showing our respect to them, after their death.
In the five years since, the team has buried more than 2,000 bodies in and around Coimbatore. Recently, it also extended its service to bury dead orphans and unclaimed bodies in Chennai as well. Talking about what they do in an interview with YourStory, another member, Sivasubramanian talked about the initial trauma the team faced while dealing with decomposing bodies. But they were soon able to get over their fears and hangups, as they truly believed that good deeds do not go unrewarded.
A majority of the people Jeeva Shanthi Trust's team bury have succumbed to old age or are mentally-challenged people chased away from homes by their families.
Read this in Tamil.
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