Bengaluru: Religion no bar for warrior who gives dead final adieu

BENGALURU: The worst of times seems to bring out the best in some human beings. Mohammad Ibrahim, a 44-year-old entrepreneur from Bengaluru, who has been performing the last rites of Covid-19 victims whose families are unable to make it to the funeral, is a living example.
Ibrahim has performed the last rites for at least 30 Covid-19 victims in accordance with Hindu and Christian traditions and per wishes of bereaved families. In one case, he not only performed the last rites, but also immersed the ashes in the Arkavathy river.
“Everybody deserves to be sent respectfully. If I perform the last rites of a person from another religion, that does not change my religion. I do it because I want to help,” Ibrahim said.
One of 30 volunteers with Mercy Angels, the NGO, Ibrahim says he has lost count of the number of Covid victims he has laid to rest or cremated. “There are times when I’ve done last rites for 3-4 people in a day. At this point we really don’t care what people may think about this. We are doing this for those who are in helpless situations. Families which couldn’t make it to the cemetery or crematoria or who are infected themselves, are all very appreciative and thankful for the work we do and that’s what matters,” Ibrahim said.
Ibrahim has also been providing food for the underprivileged since the first wave and has also doubled as ambulance driver.
He says his family is unaware of his Covid work. His entire family, including his two children and 78-year-old mother tested positive a few weeks ago. “I was worried sick for my family, yet I tried helping others for the two weeks I was at home isolating,” he said.
Ibrahim is a director of a large eatery chain and distributes nearly 3,000 packets of food to those in need from the restaurant. He said some packets are even sent via Dunzo. “Although the cost of sending food via Dunzo is more expensive than the food itself, it would be wrong to expect a hungry person to understand this,” he said. “I have converted one of my cars into an ambulance. I ferry people to the hospital, testing centres and vaccine sites at any time of the day,” the RT Nagar resident said.
Ibrahim has also learnt to collect swab samples and occasionally helps paramedics at testing sites.


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