IDUKKI: Disasters are a grim reminder of how helpless man is when faced with nature’s fury. We forget the prejudice of caste and religion when we find our fellow being in trauma. Such a generosity showed by a vicar at Pallivasal near Munnar that threw religious prejudices to the wind has helped a Hindu family bury their elderly father, who died at a relief camp at Chithirapuram on Saturday, with all religious courtesies at the church cemetery.
The deceased, identified as Subrahmanyan of Vattethariyil house, 2nd mile, Chithirapuram, was suffering from age-related illnesses when he and his family including his wife and two children were shifted to the relief camp at Chithirapuram Government High School a week ago. However, soon after Subrahmanyan’s condition became worse and he was transferred to the primary health centre at Chithirapuram. But his condition worsened by Friday night and he died on Saturday.
When the family was struggling to find a place to bury Subrahmanyan’s body, as they lost their residence in a landslide, Fr Shinto Velliparambil, vicar at St Anne’s Church, Pallivasal, promised to conduct the funeral at the church cemetery, if they were willing.
“The family had no other option and was ready to conduct the funeral at the church. When I asked the opinion of our Vijayapuram Diocese vicar general Fr Dr Justine Madathiparambil, he granted me the permission to conduct burial at the church cemetery for those who were finding it hard to arrange a place to conduct the final rites of their departed members,” said Fr. Shinto.
The funeral was held at Saturday afternoon, and the body was buried a concrete burial vault inside the cemetery after keeping his body in a coffin at the porch for some time for the public to pay homage.
“We have been preaching our parishioners to “be better” to each other and take this opportunity to be kind and more helpful to a neighbour who might be struggling. And the Church itself took the opportunity to let one of our neighbours to rest peacefully inside the cemetery regardless of his cast or creed,” Fr Shinto added.