THANE: Putting humanity over religion, a group of Muslim youths from Mumbra set an example when they carried out the funeral rites of a 65-year-old neighbour, Waman Kadam, who died on Sunday night in his Almas Colony tenement. Kadam was employed as a building watchman.
When Kadam’s two sons, who are from his first wife, and relatives were reluctant to come over at night to help the ailing widow, Vitava, in her hour of need, she requested the youths to help her cremate him. Khalil Pawne, Fahad Dabir, Nawaz Dabir, Rahil Dabir, Shaban Khan, Maqsood Khan, Farooque Khan, Mohammad Kasam Shaikh promptly set out to look for a pundit to conduct the funeral rituals and even got a death certificate from a doctor.
“My husband would never have thought that his last journey would be with so much honour. There were 40-odd Muslim youths in the funeral procession. We have known them since they were knee high; now, they turned out to be sensitive and responsible adults,” said Vitava.
Shaikh told TOI, “I have known Kadam uncle since I was a child. We were always welcome in their house and aunty would offer us snacks and sweets. Religion was never a barrier.”
On Sunday, the youths took Kadam to a nearby hospital after he complained about “feeling uneasy” probably to a liver ailment, said Shaikh, adding, “We brought him home in the evening. In the night, we heard aunty scream for help as Kadam uncle was vomiting. We ran to their house and found him lying lifeless. We called up their relatives and two sons, who live in Mumbra and Badlapur, but most of them were reluctant to come over at night. They said they would come over the next morning.”
As Vitava was worried that the body would start decomposing, she asked the youths to cremate it. Within minutes, the group managed to get a Hindu priest and arrange for all items required for the rituals such as bamboo, earthen pots, incense sticks, white cloth and thatched mat.
Around 3am, they carried the body to a nearby crematorium. Just as one of the youths was about to light the pyre, Kadam’s son who lives in Mumbra turned up, lit the pyre and left without speaking to anyone. The youths returned to the crematorium on Tuesday to collect the ashes to be immersed in the river, as per Hindu rituals. The neigbhbourhood has decided to take care of Kadam’s ailing widow.
Article Courtesy – Times of India