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India: College student ferries bodies of Covid victims to crematorium in ambulance

Web report/Kolhapur
Filed on June 24, 2021
AFP photo used for illustrative purpose

Girl drives ambulance during free time after finishing her online lectures.


Priya Patil, a 20-year-old student from Kolhapur in Maharashtra, has been busy these past few weeks taking bodies of Covid victims to crematoriums in an ambulance and even helping the staff prepare for the final rites.

The first-year science undergraduate at Vivekanand college has been driving ambulances for 12 hours daily from 9 in the morning. Bodies of Covid victims are picked up from both government and private hospitals in the ambulance and she drives the vehicle to the Panchaganga crematorium in the city.

“I had learnt to drive a car and decided to give back to society as I had free time after my online lectures,” Priya told a newspaper.

“The ambulance was donated for Covid service to the CPR hospital by a social activist. When I first donned the PPE kit to drive the ambulance, I was nervous but managed to keep calm.” She has got used to it now and is thankful for the support she gets from the staff at hospitals, the crematorium and other volunteers.

A volunteer from the Bhawani Foundation, with which Priya is associated, was all praise for her work. “When women are usually kept away from crematoriums, Priya handles her task with ease,” he said.

“Her work is unusual during the pandemic, when even relatives do not go near the bodies.”





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