Swat volunteers perform funeral rituals of Covid-19 victims

13 Apr 2020

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Sher Akbar Khan, one of the volunteers, leads the funeral prayers of a coronavirus victim at Saidu Teaching Hospital. — Dawn
Sher Akbar Khan, one of the volunteers, leads the funeral prayers of a coronavirus victim at Saidu Teaching Hospital. — Dawn

MINGORA: At the time of coronavirus outbreak when people avoid getting closer to Covid-19 patients in fear and anxiety of the disease, three staffers of the revenue department have volunteered to perform the obligatory rituals for burial of coronavirus victims.

The group led by Girdawar Sher Akbar Khan in the revenue department said they were not only doing the rituals as an assigned duty, but they took it as their social responsibility.

“As Muslims and Pakistanis it is our responsibility to extend support to those who need it. We have willingly devoted ourselves to perform the rituals from giving bath to properly shrouding the bodies of those who died of Covid-19,” said Sher Akbar Khan, a Girdawar (revenue official) in Babozai Circle-I, Mingora, adding that he led the funeral prayers too.

Three revenue dept officials make all the burial arrangements

In Swat, four patients of Covid-19 have died so far. All of them have been given proper bath and shrouding rituals according to duties and principles set by the Islamic Shariah.

“We are ready and on call for 24 hours for the rituals. We have performed bathing and shrouding rituals of four patients in Saidu Teaching Hospital in the night,” said Patwari Shah Faisal, a member of the group.

They also performed the obligatory rituals of bathing and shrouding of another patient who was brought to Nawaz Sahrif Kidney Hospital in Manglawar area.

“A kidney patient who was brought from Buner district to the kidney hospital expired. He was also suspected of Covid-19. On the directives of Swat DC, we went and performed his rituals there and sent the body to Buner with respect,” said Abdul Bari, a levy personal, who is the third member of the group.

They said their family members and some friends were worried that they might contract coronavirus from the bodies. “We motivated them that nothing bad would happen to us,” said Sher Akbar.

TELEFILM ‘LOCKDOWN’: To remind the world of the unlimited sufferings faced by the innocent people of India-held Kashmir during the unending curfew imposed by the Indian government, a group of youth released a telefilm ‘Lockdown’.

The film highlighted the problems of the people of India-held Kashmir during the strict lockdown imposed by the Indian authorities since August 5, 2019.

“The film shows how the innocent people of Indian Occupied Kashmir suffer the atrocities of lockdown, but unfortunately the entire world has forgotten their miseries. Through this film we want to remind the world about the sufferings of innocent Kashmiris as this is the best time because today the whole world is facing the difficulties of lockdown caused by coronavirus pandemic,” said Ahsan A Khan, a young certified filmmaker.

He said that they released the film on social media instead of organising an event so as to follow the social distancing protocols to avoid spread of coronavirus.

Published in Dawn, April 13th, 2020