Meet Mohammed Shamim, the Delhi Gravedigger for COVID-19 victims

Mohammed Shamim (3)

With the novel coronavirus affecting the daily lives of thousands, there are many who are risking their lives at the frontline. That includes doctors, policemen, paramedics, media, the banking sector, and others. Among them is also Mohammed Shamim, the gravedigger in Delhi.

Mohammed Shamim is the Cemetery supervisor at the ITO Cemetery in Delhi. It is one of the designated burial grounds for the COVID-19 victims. He is probably the lone man responsible for the burial of most victims in the city. He says,

“I’ve been burying the dead for the last two decades. But until now, I’ve never been scared for my own life. I am fighting corona daily. I have not taken a single day off since the lockdown and come to the cemetery every day. I don’t even go to my home and sleep here only as no other person is ready to come here.”

194 deaths in Delhi

Before the burial, Shamim makes sure he sanitizes his gloves. He always keeps a bottle of sanitizer with him. Time and again, he instructs the relatives of the coronavirus victims of the dos and don’ts. He is very patient with the relatives empathizing with their loss. He asks them to put on the protective suits, gloves, and masks to attend the burial ceremony. He says people often refuse to come and help due to the coronavirus scare. At that time, without an option, he has to step in. He also described painfully heartbreaking scenes of a burial where only a mother and her small son came.

Mohammed Shamim
Courtesy: India Times

Post the outbreak of COVID-19 in the city, Shamim has sent his four daughters to his parents’ house in order to isolate them from the danger. Shamim now lives alone in his room. Often after burial, he heads back his room and rakes rest. Shedding the light on his painful work during the COVID-19 pandemic, he says,

“I always felt safest around the dead and most vulnerable in the outside world. Now I find it difficult to sleep at night.”

Delhi has so far reported 194 deaths due to the novel coronavirus. Despite 5,567 people being completely recovered from the disease, Delhi still has 5,898 active cases.

 

Source: India Times