Rajamahendravaram: He is a 27 -year-old resident of Bommuru in here, Andhara Pradesh and is a real unsung hero of society. Carrying dead bodies of Covid patients from hospitals and even homes has become a routine affair for Mallisetti Bharat Raghava.
Since the onset of the pandemic, Mallisetti has performed the last rites of at least 110 deceased persons irrespective of their religion along with a couple of his friends. “When I was in college, my father died of illness in Visakhapatnam. We did not have money to shift the body to Rajamahendravaram and had to keep the body for one full day. It was then that I decided that the dead need a decent farewell and started helping those who can’t afford it,” Raghava was quoted as saying by The New Indian Express.
Raghava an MBA graduate and owns a goods truck to manage a livelihood. Raghava never demand any money but he accepts any amount that people give for performing the last rites. “I spend the amount on fuel and buying PPE kits for ourselves or for the funeral material,” he explained.
During the pandemic last year, several people abandoned bodies of their relatives in morgue. Raghava was called by the hospital managements to perform the final rites as bodies started to pile up.
“In the initial days, I faced resistance and was stigmatised by neighbours. But that died down as days passed by. People began to understand that coronavirus is universal and nobody is immune to it.
“There were instances where the family members contracted the virus and could not perform the last rites. I took the responsibility to arrange for the funeral,” Raghava said.