In what can be considered a sad piece of news, an octogenarian man Mohammad Sharif who cremated thousands of unclaimed bodies, known lovingly as ‘Sharif Chacha’, is bedridden and requires treatment.
The 80-year-old man was a resident of Faizabad district in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya.
He was conferred Padma Shri by the government last year on Republic Day.
It is quite unfortunate that his family is currently going through a financial crisis. The family is still waiting for the pension against his award so that they could afford his treatment.
The distinguished individual performed the last rites of many unclaimed dead bodies irrespective of their religion for 27 years.
“I heard the news about it on TV but have not received the award so far. I fell ill nearly two months ago,” bed-ridden Mohammed Sharif said.
“He got bed-ridden because of his deteriorating health condition. The financial situation of the family is not good. We have a large family living in a rented house for almost 70 years. He is yet to receive the medallion and citation of the award. He is taken care of by his sons and grandchildren,” a family member of the Padma Shri awardee said.
“We are not getting any kind of financial help,” the family added.
He had also received an invitation for ‘bhoomi pujan’ of Ram Temple in Ayodhya but could not attend due to poor health.
BJP MP Lallu Singh, who had recommended his name for the award has stated that the necessary help will be provided to him.