The families of those who have passed away due to COVID have been struggling to perform the last rites of their loved ones due to lack of space at cremation sites. They have to wait hours before being allowed to cremate their dead.
Taking cognisance of the issue, Telangana's Karimnagar Municipal Corporation (KMC) is providing funeral services for as little as ₹1 for the families of the deceased who are unable to afford the services.
The services are provided under the scheme, 'Antim Yatra- Aakhri Safar', reported India Today. The civic body is ensuring the last rites of the poor are performed with dignity.
KMC will provide transportation of bodies to the crematorium or burial grounds, conduct rituals, arrange firewood, kerosene, and other materials required. For poor people of other religions, the corporation will allocate space for the burial of the mortal remains and arrange required materials.
The concerned family has to provide the authorities with the copies of Aadhar card and ration card for identification purposes.
Launched in June 2019, the scheme has helped several families, as the corporation bears all the expenses for the funeral services, irrespective of their caste or religion.
KMC has also received assistance from Karimnagar Madiga Sangam, which conducts the final rites on the banks of river Maner on the district's outskirts with all rituals and COVID-19 protocols.
"Normally, the rate for performing a funeral of one COVID-19 body is charged Rs 10,000, but private funeral teams have been demanding hefty amounts from the grieving families," said KMC Mayor Sunil Rai.
Under the scheme, the corporation performed 150 funerals of COVID-19 patients last year. This year, 100 have been carried out so far, Rai added.