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Dubai social worker to complete the last rites of Covid-19 victim whose family is quarantined

Dhanusha Gokulan (Principal Correspondent)/Dubai
dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com Filed on May 20, 2020 | Last updated on May 20, 2020 at 01.04 pm
Dubai, Indian, social worker, Covid-19, patient, family, positive, test, coronavirus, last rites, Ramesh Kalidas Pamani, Naseer Vatanapally
Ramesh Kalidas Pamani died from Covid-19 on May 19, just five days after testing positive for the deadly disease.

(Supplied image)

Dubai-based Indian social worker offers to help with 77-year-old Ramesh Kalidas Pamani's final farewell as per Hindu customs.

A Dubai-based social worker has come forward to undertake the last rites of a Covid-19 patient who died on Tuesday and whose family members are in mandatory home quarantine after they all tested positive for coronavirus.

Dubai-based Indian social worker, Naseer Vatanapally, who recently recovered from the deadly disease, has agreed to complete the last rites of 77-year-old Ramesh Kalidas Pamani as per Hindu customs.

"I have collected the passports from their home, and once the paperwork is complete, the cremation will take place at the Hindu Crematorium in Jebel Ali," Vatanapally told Khaleej Times.

Long-time Dubai resident Kiran Kumar Ramesh Pamani's life was turned upside down at 3.30 pm on Tuesday when he got a call informing him of his 77-year-old father's death.

Kumar's father, Ramesh Kalidas Pamani, had tested positive for the coronavirus on May 14 after he suffered a heart attack on May 11.

"My father had come to visit us in February. He had diabetes, and his blood-sugar levels had gone up considerably in the days ahead of him suffering a stroke. On May 11, we admitted him to a Dubai hospital," said Kumar.

"On May 14, we got a call from the hospital informing us that he had tested positive for Covid-19," he added.

Following his father's positive result and the close contact he had had with the family, Kumar, his wife Preeti Pamani, and their eight-year-old daughter also underwent the test.

"Unfortunately, my wife and I tested positive and immediately began our home quarantine. Luckily, my daughter was tested negative. We began communicating with the hospital over the phone," he explained.

"When I was told my father is no more, I was in a state of total distress. There was no one to complete my father's last rites and I could not even see him one last time," lamented Kumar.

As the family panicked about what needed to be done next, Preeti's employer, KV Shamsudheen, the director of Barjeel Geogit Securities and a prominent social worker, assured the family Naseer would help them.

"I got a call from Mr Shamsudheen, who put us in touch with Naseer. He called to inform that he would collect all the necessary papers and passports from us. On Tuesday, after iftar, he came home and collected everything from us in person," said Kumar.

"I am very grateful for everything the Dubai health authorities have done for my father, and to Naseer, who has come forward to help. If not for them, I would not know what to do," he added.

"My father was a very nice man. My mother passed away when I was 18 and my dad raised my sister and I. Since his retirement, he used to travel to Dubai from Mumbai every few months to be with us," said Kumar.

KV Shamsudheen told Khaleej Times, "She has been working with us for several years. When we realised she has been tested positive for Covid-19, we decided to extend all the support we can for the family."

Vatanapally explained: "Since the outbreak, I have had to help complete the last rites of at least 10 Hindu brothers and sisters who died due to Covid-19. Here in the UAE, we make no distinction based on caste, creed, or religion."

In this case, Naseer completes all the paperwork for the deceased, including getting the death certificate, police papers, municipality approval, cancellation of passport, and a clearance from the Hindu temple in Bur Dubai.

"Based on availability and timing, the mortal remains are then transported to the crematorium where the last rites are completed as per Hindu traditions. The ashes will be handed over to the next of kin," he added. 

dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com

author

Dhanusha Gokulan

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for 10 years. She has a keen interest in writing about issues that plague the common person, and will never turn down a human interest story. She completed her Bachelor in Arts in Journalism, Economics, and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves travelling, and Audible is her favourite mobile application. Tweet at her @wordjunkie88


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