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Saturday, January 16, 2021

COVID: Hearse van driver hasn’t met family in 6 months

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5-year-old asks her father “Have you forgotten us?”

 “Father, have you forgotten us?”: This innocent question by a hearse driver’s daughter brought tears to the father’s eyes.

In response to this question for the last 6 months, Baldev, who drives a hearse van for an NGO in Delhi, is forced to give the same answer to his daughter every day. He is helpless as he cannot go home.

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He just tells his daughter “I will come soon, our country is in crisis at this time.”

READ ALSO: India is key for global access to a COVID-19 vaccine – here’s why

Baldev drives the hearse van for the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Seva Dal that transports bodies of victims who have died of coronavirus. They also help in transporting the bodies from the hospital to the ‘Shamshan Ghat’ to perform their last rites.

Baldev, a resident of Delhi’s Vivek Vihar, has not met his family since March, and he has a 5-year-old daughter and his wife at his home.

However, he is one of the corona warriors who deliver 4 to 5 corona-infected bodies daily from the hospital to the crematorium.

Baldev has been working in the NGO for the last 18 years. “The last time I met my family was in March,” he said. “Now only in the morning, I talk to my wife and daughter on the phone.”

He also mentioned, “My daughter asks me every day, ‘Father, have you forgotten us? I say ‘I have not forgotten you’. But I cannot go home because I am afraid that my family might get corona infection because of me.”

In the parking lot where the NGO’s vehicles are parked, accommodation has also been made for people working with Baldev.

READ ALSO: The ethics of the COVID-19 vaccine: a multi-faith perspective

Jyot Jeet, head of the Disaster Management Department of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Seva Dal, also provided some details, “Baldev has been working in our institute for nearly 18 years. We have a team of 48 people. We do the work of transporting the bodies and cremating them. Baldev is part of that team.”

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