Upon hearing the news of his father’s death, who lived in Jharkhand, Aditya Rai, set out on a motorcycle from Delhi as public transport was shut due to the lockdown. But he ended up losing his life
Upon hearing the news of his father’s death, who lived in a village in Jharkhand, Aditya Rai, 27, set out on a motorcycle from Delhi as because of the lockdown, public transport was shut. But he ended up losing his life in a road accident. Within 24 hours, a poor family of labourers had not only lost two of its dear people but because of the lockdown, the family could not also see each other’s face for one last time.
Amarjeet, one of the sons who lived with his father in Lataki village in Jamua district of Jharkhand, performed the last rites of his father in the village, whereas, the elder brother Sujit, cremated his younger brother Aditya in Agra. Because of the lockdown, Sujit could not even take his brother’s body to the village.
The death of two dear members has unleashed a sea of misery upon the poor family struggling to make ends meet due to the lockdown. The compassionate villagers somehow pooled in some money for the father’s funeral and had lent it to the middle son Amarjeet, who was living with the father.
Amarjeet’s family comprises his wife and two children. He runs an auto around the village and somehow runs his own family. But since for the past two months, his work had totally suffered due to the lockdown and due to the paucity of money, Amarjeet was already reeling under the shortage of ration at home. At such time, his father, Amol Rai, passed away suddenly on May 18. He didn’t even have the money for his last rites.
Amarjeet told Gaon Connection: “Because of the lockdown, I did not have money to eat. I didn’t have money for my father’s rituals. So, I asked the villagers to lend me money. Somebody gave Rs 1,000, somebody Rs 500.”
Meanwhile, Amarjeet broke the news of his father’s demise over the phone to his two brothers earning away at Delhi. Upon hearing the news, younger brother Aditya, sitting about 1,300 kms away, had decided to visit his village in Jharkhand by riding a motorcycle. Aditya lived in Delhi and used to work in a shop.
Amarjeet said: “I tried to stop Aditya many times, explaining to him that it would be difficult for him to come to the village because of the lockdown. But he was so moved because of his father’s death that he decided to leave for Jharkhand by motorcycle.”
Aditya was riding a motorcycle with another friend, Surendra. On May 19, they reached Agra, but at around 6 AM, he lost his balance and fell. While Aditya died on the spot, his companion was badly injured.
The police took an injured Surendra and Aditya’s body, to the SN Medical College, Agra for treatment and post mortem, and from there the police informed about the death of Aditya to his brothers. Subsequent deaths of father and Aditya completely shattered their family.
Amarjeet said: “With the news of Aditya’s death, we were not even able to have water due to grief. I spoke to my elder brother in Delhi. He left from Delhi, but died in Agra. But it was not possible to bring Aditya’s body to Jharkhand because of the lockdown.”
He added: “So, after the post mortem, my elder brother performed Aditya’s last rites in Agra, and I cremated my father in the village with the money that I had sought from the villagers. Because of the lockdown, we could not even see each other’s face for one last time.”
According to Amarjeet, their father had decided to marry Aditya in a family of nearby Deori block. But because of the lockdown, Aditya’s marriage had been postponed. “While we were rejoicing for Aditya’s marriage, this lockdown caused by the corona has doomed our entire family. It took our father away, the younger brother is also no more, we do not know what would happen next,” said Amarjeet.
Amarjeet is now worried about the rituals following the father’s demise at the time of lockdown. He said: “Whatever ration we are getting from the government during the lockdown, we somehow are sustaining upon it. Now, only some rice and a few tomato-onions are left in the house. We do not know how we will arrange things necessary for the rituals.”