Dark face of pandemic: Covid warriors land to often recover decomposed bodies

By N B Hombal

Bengaluru, May 16 (IANS): With the exponential rise in Covid-19 cases during the second wave of the Covid-19pandemic, Karnataka is also witnessing an increase in the number of deaths. But what is worrisome is dead bodies are found in decomposed condition due to its metropolitan culture, where interaction with neighbours is near zero.

This culture has plunged to another abyss, after the emergence of the Covid pandemic, even our own ‘near and dear ones' have either become pariahs or treat us one like pariah, after either of us realise that some of us are taken ill.

Covid warrior and software engineer with the TCS, Sathyanarana Roy aka Ruchi Roy's friend of Odisha's local channel reporter living in Bengaluru received a call from his home state Odisha on May 12 at around 4 pm. Distressed parents of their only 25-year-old son, Santhosh Jena was not picking up their call who had fallen sick three days ago before they heard him last on May 7 at 5 pm.

According to Roy, after receiving the call along with his friend working with media, Gobind Barik reached Koodlugate in Parappana Agrahara police limits. What they saw was this young man sitting on chair under the ceiling fan had died three or four days ago and his body had already started decomposing that too with his limbs started dislocating.

Roy said that the parents had tried their best to reach out their son though few relatives and fellow villagers who work in Bengaluru to know about Jena's wellbeing, but none had come to their rescue and only then they had taken help of their village head, who though some of his political contacts came to know about Gobind Barik working in Bengaluru.

Roy said that Jena's parents were not even aware about his whereabouts like where he stays or where he worked in Bengaluru and none could blame them as they are from a very remote village of Bhadrak district in Odisha, which is around 1,980 km from this tech hub.

"They were dependent on Jena for their survival in their village. Even to reach us they had taken help from their village head's (Sarpanch) help, who somehow knew that a reporter (Gobind Barik) of local channel of Odisha works here," Roy told IANS.

Roy said that the irony of this episode is that the deceased house owner who stays nearby and few neighbours who lived here were not even aware that Jena was dead and the owner even insisted that Jena was not in the house and left his bike here and perhaps left Bengaluru due to imposition of partial lockdown on April 27.

"Somehow, we both (Gobind and me) sensed that something was a miss. Then we sought his permission to see his room, which was on the third floor of the building. When we reached his room, his room was locked from inside, and then we saw from the window, realised that he was no more," the Covid warrior explained.

Then Roy approached Parappana Agarahara police, who immediately came with him and broke open the door and recovered the dead.

"The police informed the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike authorities who came with an ambulance conducted Covid test on the deceased and it was found that the deceased was Covid positive. The BBMP officials did take good care as the first ambulance which they had dispatched did not have experienced staff to wrap the decomposed body. So, the BBMP rushed another team of experts who are specialised in handling decomposed bodies like the Jena's, whose limbs had started falling apart," Roy explained.

When Roy broke the story of Jena's death through Sarpanch's phone, the parents had fainted and were admitted to hospital and they were wailing inconsolably as they felt that they could not even take part in the last rites of their only son and lone earning member of their family.

Roy poignantly reminded that nowadays, many people are less interested in maintaining any friendly relation with their neighbours.

"The face to face interaction and the sense of brotherhood have been diminishing since the emergence of sophisticated life and hi-tech culture. That is where we are finding such dead bodies often in cities like Bengaluru. For this city is not to be blamed, we, the people must take responsibility for reaching out to our neighbours and keeping in touch with them. Cities like Bengaluru provide us an ample opportunity for employment, but after coming to this city, we people should also need to contribute by keeping our neighbourhood vibrant," he signed off.





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Comment on this article

  • Save My India, India.

    Mon, May 17 2021

    Big blow to delyed , flawed policy!!!! https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/5/17/top-india-virologist-quits-govt-covid-panel-after-airing-differences

    DisAgree Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • NS BHAT, Mangaluru

    Mon, May 17 2021

    Some comments on this news openion that the diversity in language, religion etc and bjp govt are responsible for this kind of incidents. But actually it is not so. This kind of incidents are caused by forgetting/not aware of our rich culture. Indian culture is known for it's virtues like helping, tolerance, simplicity in life, truthfulness etc which are known as धर्म in Samskritham. No religion / caste system of India directs the people in opposite way regarding these virtues. Being selfish, not helping others who are in trouble, considering others troubles as entertainment - all these are the poisonous fruites of urban civilization. During one's childhood, he has to be cared in Indian cultured environment, where he can watch such good virtues of our rich culture. By this, he will be able to take care of the people who are in his surroundings suffering from troubles. Nowadays, some parents prefer to send their children to residential schools. The residential schools/hostels mainly focus on education, children are generally not exposed to face / experience such situations where the virtues like selflessness, helping nature etc are involved.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sanjay, Hebri

    Sun, May 16 2021

    The pain of losing a son or daughter is for ever. RIP...🙏

    DisAgree Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Cynthia, Damarskatte

    Sun, May 16 2021

    May the departed soul of Shri Jena rest in peace....my heartfelt condolences to his parents. May god console them and strengten them and help them in every possible direction....

    DisAgree Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • Shashikumar Shetty, Santhoor

    Sun, May 16 2021

    Ever since people started earning bit extra money , bought their own telephones and a vehicle - they have stopped interacting with neighbhours. One would hang on with a person over the phone but , not give a gentle smile at a person who is in front of them. It’s prevailing a lot with younger generation . No wonder Covid have arrived to show these ever important and busy people the real priority and who is near to them .

    DisAgree [1] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sameer, Riyadh

    Sun, May 16 2021

    Out situation is same as that of Italy and USA in the first wave of the pandemic. Lot of dead bodies were recovered from houses and old age homes. We don't even know how many such cases in India, yet to be uncovered. But what we know is that the official figures are just an eye wash. There is a staggering difference between the actual number dead and what is shown officially. I don't know why Covid is considered a social stigma in India still. Lot of people hesitate to disclose it. This leads to enormous rise in cases. This also leads to disown the dead or dispose them in the rivers and pollute the rivers which may give rise to new diseases.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [27] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jd, Mlr

    Sun, May 16 2021

    It is true that we don't maintain relationships with each other. You know why? Because we belong to different religions, castes, languages, regions. We are also poisoned that if our political beliefs are different, we are enemies. If our idealogy is different, we should insult each other. So, we reaping the benefits of what has been sowed. Surely we knew that someday we have to harvest this crop. Why cry now

    DisAgree [2] Agree [50] Reply Report Abuse

  • Omar, Mysore

    Sun, May 16 2021

    So true, there is only 2 label in India , Love Modi be Andh Bhakt regardless what he does and you must criticise any leader Dr.Manmohan Sing, Sonia, Rahul, HDK, Trump, Bush, Biden anyone except Modi or be called Anti-National

    DisAgree [6] Agree [39] Report Abuse

  • Marina, Mangalore

    Sun, May 16 2021

    RIP young man. This is saddest part of our country. We boast of India being a diverse country but sadly we don’t know who our neighbour is. We don’t even smile when we meet our neighbour. We have become so selfish that we only think about ourselves. There is no humanity. There are a handful of people who really help each other in times of need. This pandemic should bring a change in all of us. Our approach towards our neighbour, colleague, and so many others who we come across everyday in life. Then only we will find our country in a better place.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [35] Reply Report Abuse

  • John Tauro, M'lore

    Sun, May 16 2021

    The one who disagreed may not be a human being.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [19] Report Abuse

  • Omar, Mysore

    Sun, May 16 2021

    What a sad state , JUMLA party has turned country and state into a big bad mess

    DisAgree [17] Agree [30] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Sun, May 16 2021

    Better than recovering half eaten bodies from the Ganga ...

    DisAgree [16] Agree [39] Reply Report Abuse

  • P Shetty, Udupi

    Sun, May 16 2021

    it is the work of the undertaker who dump the bodies in Ganges instead of cremating it. Respect the dead. Don't play politics on dead bodies..

    DisAgree [29] Agree [7] Report Abuse

  • Omar, Mysore

    Sun, May 16 2021

    and Slogan will be 'Ab ki baar, body ganga jamuna paar' @P Shetty, Udupi : I wish you were right, Police are burying in sand is what uncovered , if your conscience is alive question the govt. you voted rather than defending their crime. Who built walls to hide burning chitas , people?

    DisAgree [8] Agree [30] Report Abuse

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