BANGALORE: Unclaimed bodies might have just one caretaker in Bangalore. Be it someone’s mother or son, uncle or daughter, grandmother or best friend, it is Trivikrama Mahadeva who picks the dead bodies lying on the roads and hospitals unclaimed, and gives them a dignified funeral.
Mahadeva has been in this service for the past 40 years and claims that he has buried over 77,882 dead bodies. Mahadeva, 53, has been feted by the government, NGOs and was also conferred the Namma Bengaluru award. In recognition of his exemplary service, the Karnataka State Financial Corporation is donating him a Van on April 2, as a part of its social service initiative, to help him in carrying his task effectively.
Speaking about how he got into this service, Mahadeva said, “In 1969, I had to admit my mother to Victoria Hospital. However they declined to admit her and I waited at the gate for a week hoping that they would hospitalise and give her treatment. But they did not. I did not realise that my mother was dying. Krishna Daata, a person who was doing a similar service like me, buried my mother.”
“It was Krishna who adopted me and gave me shelter. From then, I carried on with this activity,” he added. Mahadeva said it is the Karnataka State Police who is helping him financially. “They give me `700 for an unclaimed body on the streets but it if from hospitals, the hospital staff gives me `250,” he said.
Burying unclaimed bodies is normally the responsibility of either BBMP or other civic agencies in the city.