VIZIANAGARAM: A police constable and an ambulance driver have teamed up to lead a group that ensures decent last rites of destitute who die of COVID-19, in Vizianagaram.
One Shaik Itamash, attached to the Denkada police station, and friend N Eswararao aka Siva together started a Facebook page by the name of Vizianagaram Youth recently to execute their noble initiative, and were soon joined by over 20 people, six of whom are ambulance staff and work for Siva.
By Sunday, the group has performed funerals of six people who died from COVID-19, and all of the bodies were unclaimed. It has also transported 100 bodies of COVID victims to the families, and shifting the patients for no charge.
It said their services could be availed with just a phone call, and, as calls were pouring in round-the-clock, the members wanted to be facilitator of oxygen, blood and plasma to the patients.
Shaik Itamash, also the administrator of the Facebook page, said: "During my stint at Two-town police station, social services of head constable Narayana inspired me to start Vizianagaram Youth to help the poor and needy with my earnings."
"Fifteen people joined us through Facebook, and they even help me serve cancer patients and fire mishap victims. After the Palasa incident, in which a young boy shifted his mother’s body on a bike due to lack of ambulance availability, I decided to help COVID patients and approached Siva, who drives his own ambulances," he added.
Siva said: "I have four ambulances and six people working for me. In the first wave, my uncle died of COVID-19 and nobody came forward to help us with his funeral. That incident moved me and I decided to help the people in need of help."