Karnataka revenue minister R Ashok on Wednesday, June 2, conducted the final rites of more than 500 persons who succumbed to coronavirus. These were among 1,400 bodies that were abandoned at several crematoriums across the state.
The revenue department said they decided to perform the funeral, as the families of many refused to accompany the deceased in the last chapter of their lives. At the same time, some couldn't afford the services.
The department immersed the ashes of 560 persons in the Cauvery river to bid a respectful farewell.
"They are going through difficult times. The government is sharing the pain with them and trying to be a part of the family. It is an emotional issue for us all, brothers and sisters of the Karnataka people. It is my duty as a revenue minister to do this," Hindustan Times quoted Ashok as saying.
The minister also mentioned the distressing scenes reported from north India, where the bodies of the deceased were floating on the river banks. "We are seeing in the Ganga thousands of bodies of those who died in Covid time. The birds are eating ...This is a shame to us."
As the second wave of coronavirus hit India, hundreds of bodies of the deceased COVID-19 patients were found on the roads, on the streets, at the shore of rivers Yamuna and Ganga, and many remained unclaimed at the hospital mortuary.
Karnataka emerged as one of the biggest epicentres of COVID-19 after the second wave hit the country, reporting the highest single mark frequently. In the order of cities, Bengaluru recorded the highest number of cases.
Crematoriums, including the makeshift open-air ones, could not cope with the number of bodies that arrived, despite the hundreds of acres of land it is spread across.
Lately, the cases have come down in the state, but it is struggling to contain the transmission of the virus.