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Bengaluru's grave-diggers and crematoria staff have stepped up to donate a month's salary to fight against the novel coronavirus that is currently taking a toll on the country.
"Our job is our bread and butter. But we don't want bodies to line up in front of our graveyards and crematoria," The Times of India quoted Sowri Raju, Secretary of Ambedkar Dalit Sangharsha Samithi (ADSS).
"All these years, society fostered us. Now, it is our turn to give something back," he added.
It is significant to note that the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) recently started paying a monthly honorarium of ₹14,000 to each worker. Earlier, they survived on a meagre salary of ₹1,000 per month.
Donating an entire month's salary to the Chief Minister's Relief Fund, the grave-diggers aim to aid the state government in procuring necessary protective gear for the doctors and health workers and provide for the underprivileged who are forced to bear the brunt of an unexpected lockdown.
According to the reports, on Friday, April 3, representatives representing city's 148 grave diggers and helpers met BBMP Commissioner, BH Anil Kumar and handed over a letter giving their consent to donate their salary to Chief Minister's COVID-19 Relief Fund.
At ₹14,000 a month, the total amount for 148 grave diggers would come to ₹2,072,000.
Meenamma C, a grave-digger at Hebbal burial ground, said that their contribution gave her immense satisfaction.
A Suresh, State General Secretary of Dr BR Ambedkar Dalitha Sangarsha Samithi said the gesture to contribute a month's salary was commendable.
"It will be difficult for them to make ends meet without wages for a month but they too want to do something to society. All these years, the BBMP did not consider them as human beings and used to pay them only ₹1,000 per month,'' said Suresh.
Sai Datta, a social activist, said while praising the grave-diggers' gesture said, " Publicity mongers should look up to these people as role models. They should be appreciated for taking such a noble decision,'' he said, reported, Bangalore Mirror.
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