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Volunteers roped in for safe, dignified funerals in Puducherry

The Popular Front of India has been permitted to provide services of volunteers for the purpose.

Published: 10th June 2020 02:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th June 2020 02:25 PM   |  A+A-

Employees of Puducherry GH protesting against the suspension of an employee for undignified burial of a Covid patient | Express

By Express News Service

PUDUCHERRY: After the viral video of a dead person who died of Covid being casually flipped into a deep pit for burial sparked outrage, the Puducherry government on Tuesday roped in non-governmental organisations to conduct cremation and burial of people dying of the viral disease.

The Popular Front of India has been permitted to provide services of volunteers for the purpose. They would be provided with PPE kits by the Municipality and would have to follow the standard operating procedures issued by the Centre.  The dead body will have to be buried or cremated with due regard to the dignity of the deceased, said the order. With regard to expenses required, Chief Minister V Narayanasamy said that it will be provided from Chief minister’s COVID  relief fund.

Meanwhile, following the suspension of three employees of the Villianur Commune Panchayat for the undignified burial, their colleagues staged a protest on Tuesday demanding the withdrawal of the action. P Lakshmanaysamy, representing an employees federation, said the staff under question had no experience of conducting burials, and no instructions had been given to them on how to go about it.

While two are sanitary workers of the Commune Panchayat, one is a ward attender in Government General Hospital and another a social worker.  There was no “ Vettaiyan” who conducts the burial in the burial ground as the post is lying vacant, said Lakshmanasamy. Neither was there a briefing given to them by the officials of Commune Panchayat or Revenue Department on how to bury the body as per the SOP.  

“It is the duty of the persons at the cemetery to bury the dead bodies. But out of compulsion from the senior officials, the low-level staff took the body to the cemetery, and out of fearsome “mistakes” happened which is not deliberate. The government should have given them some advice,” said AIADMK legislature party leader Anbazhagan.

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