RANCHI: Mohammed Khalid has been serving the society silently for the last 14 years by cremating and burying unclaimed dead bodies according to their religion and has performed last rites for more than 10,000 bodies so far.
According to Khalid, whatever life a person might have lived, he must get a dignified exit from this world. Khalid, a science graduate and pathologist by profession, has been doing this social service all of his own without taking any support from the Government or any other organization.
A local cloth merchant, however, provides shroud for the dead bodies free of cost, while some other people, whom he calls - 'Dharm Bhai,' of late have started helping him in this noble cause by giving donations for cremation.
It all started by chance, when he was working as a cleaning supervisor at Sadar Hospital in Hazaribagh some 14 years back where an old lady suffering from leprosy was dumped there by her family members died and there was nobody to perform her last rights.
"When nobody came forward, I cremated the dead body at the nearby crematorium of my own which changed my life as it gave me a sense of immense satisfaction and I took decision then and there to carry forward this noble cause by giving a dignified exit from this world to those, who might not had lived a comfortable life here," said Md Khalid.
All round appreciation from family, friends and administration has been working as motivation to carry forward this noble cause he added. "Now, during the last 14 years, I have performed last rights of not less than 10,000 dead bodies in Ranchi, Hazaribagh, Chatra and, Ramgarh districts of Jharkhand," said Khalid.
Looking at his dedication, the district administration has put a notice at several places in Hazaribagh asking them to contact Md Khalid if they have any problem in the cremation or burial of dead bodies, he added.
Not only unclaimed bodies, Md Khalid also gives performs last rights for those neo-natal children who die during their birth in the hospital and there is no one to take care of them. Later on, some other people also expressed their desire to join him in this noble cause.
"To ensure a dignified exit to the dying person, we also make it a point to immerse the ashes of those dead bodies to Varanasi or prey for them in the mosque and church as per their religion," said Khalid. Tapas Chakravarty, a retired professor from St Columba College in Hazaribagh, is also associated with Khalid along other persons - Ashish Singh, Md Naseem and Mukesh Ram.
"Being his teacher, it makes me feel proud when I see Khalid," said Chakravarty. The work he has been doing is really commendable, he added. According to Chakravarty, probably there is only one mortuary in India which is run by two private individuals that is Khalid and he.
"Khlid had fought with the administration for 13 long years for the mortuary which is there at Sadar hospital, controlled completely by us," claimed the retired professor. It would not have been possible without the support of the people of Hazaribagh, who have now started donating voluntarily for the cremation, he added.