Setting all religious barriers aside, a group of Muslim youths set an example by carrying out the last rites of 65-year-old Hindu neighbour in Mumbra of Thane, Maharashtra. The neighbour — Waman Kadam — who died in Almas Colony tenement on Sunday night was employed as a building watchman.
Kadam’s two sons, who are from his first wife, and other relatives were reluctant to come at night to help the ailing widow, Vitava, in her need. At such a situation, she called for help to the youths.
The eight youths — Khalil Pawne, Fahad Dabir, Nawaz Dabir, Rahil Dabir, Shaban Khan, Maqsood Khan, Farooque Khan, Mohammad Kasam Shaikh — immediately started looking for a pundit to perform the funeral rites and even a doctor to give a death certificate.
“My husband would never have thought that his last journey would be with so much honour. There were 40-odd Muslim youths in the funeral procession. We have known them since they were knee high; now, they turned out to be sensitive and responsible adults,” said Vitava to Times Of India.
The youths had taken Kadam to hospital on Sunday evening as he was feeling uneasy for a liver ailment. After they brought him home, they heard Vitava screaming at night. They ran into the house and found Mr Kadam was lying dead. The youths called up his two sons and other relatives but they all said that they will come in the morning.
As it was getting late, the body had to be cremated. So all the youths arranged for a priest and all items required to perform the rituals.
They carried the body to a nearby crematorium. But just as one of them was about to light the pyre, Kadam’s son turned up, lit the pyre and left without speaking to anyone. The youths also collected the ashes to be immersed in the river. The neighbourhood has decided to take care of the widow.