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India Covid crisis: Crematoria staff get blue uniforms in Chennai

Web Report/Chennai
Filed on May 22, 2021
Photo: Reuters file

Several mourning relatives have been facing problems with smooth-speaking conmen cheating them at the gates of the crematoria in Chennai.


When a grieving relative visits a crematorium to bid a final farewell to the dear one, the last thing on the person’s mind is that there are some elements out there to fleece and exploit the situation.

But several mourning relatives, whose spouse, parent, sibling or child succumbed to the fearsome Covid virus, have been facing problems with smooth-speaking conmen cheating them at the gates of the crematoria in Chennai.

“We received complaints that anti-social elements or non-employees are loitering about and creating a nuisance at crematoriums,” Rajgopal Sunkara, a senior official of the Greater Chennai Corporation, told the media. “Hence we decided to come up with the uniform for the staff at crematoriums so that the public can easily identify them and not fall prey to conmen.”

About 70 staff members have been given the uniforms, blue jersey and shorts with Crematorium Helper printed on the back. “We have also given them gloves and masks,” said R. Balasubrmanian, another civic official. “They will also be wearing identity cards.”

In the past, cremations were open only till 6 pm. But now with the raging Covid crisis, relatives come till 10.30 pm. Many women relatives also accompany the family.

The civic body is also setting up CCTVs to monitor anti-social elements, who try to exploit the situation. “This is just another initiative to make the last journey a peaceful experience,” said another senior official.





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