After her son refused to cremate her when she died of Covid, it was the daughter who, with help from local people, finally performed the last rites of a mother in Uttar Pradesh.
Sudama Devi, 61, lost her battle to Covid-19 on Monday but no one from her family turned up to take the body though she is survived by a son and a daughter.
Her son Ajay, an alcoholic, refused to claim her body which lay in the mortuary for hours.
Her daughter Manju lives in Powayan town but had no money to travel to Shahjahanpur where her mother lived.
The body lay at the mortuary of Shahjahanpur medical college for three days since Friday when the old woman died.
A local journalist, Mirazuddin Khan, who has been reporting from the hospital for his private news portal, came to know about the matter and with the help of an ambulance driver, he pooled in money and arranged for Manju to reach the district hospital.
Khan said, “When I contacted the woman’s son, he refused to come for the cremation because of the infection. His younger sister agreed, but she did not have the money. Then an ambulance driver, Veeru Kumar, and I collected money and ensured that the final rites of the woman were completed in the presence of her daughter.”
Manju told reporters, “My brother did not come, but I have now got many brothers here. They ensured that the last rites of my mother were performed following the rituals.”
Ajay had got his mother admitted to the district hospital and left her there after she tested Covid positive.
Chief Medical Superintendent Dr U.P. Sinha said, “The woman’s son did not turn up after her death on April 23 fearing that he would get infected. On Tuesday, however, her daughter claimed the body.”