Twenty-five years ago, former Indian legislator Jitender “Shunty” Singh stood at a cremation ground watching a bereaved father steal firewood from someone else’s pyre because he did not have the money to buy the wood needed to cremate his young son.
It made him resolve to help people who are unable to afford a dignified farewell for their loved ones. As Covid-19 continues to take lives in India’s capital city of Delhi, Mr Singh is being praised for helping as many as 3,000 families get “respectful” cremations for their loved ones.
“During the first wave, we cremated 967 people who died due to Covid-19. During the second wave this year we have carried out cremation of close to 2,000 people between 1 April and 10 May. Many of them are so young… it breaks my heart,” Mr Singh, a former member of the legislative assembly (MLA), told The Independent.
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