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May 01, 2012 at 09:43am IST

Bangalore: Giving a dignified burial to the unclaimed

Bangalore: Mahadeva, a resident of Bangalore, has been burying the dead for the past 40 years, but instead of being bogged down by the morbid job, he believes he's blessed. For 40 years, Mahadeva has given a dignified exit to at least 75,000 dead people, most of them unclaimed.

"This is the only work I know. No one cares about these bodies and they would rot somewhere. So I feel it's like a duty of mine to give them a proper burial, make them feel happy, at least in their after life," said Mahadeva.

He has also cremated some high-profile people like Sivarasan, one of those responsible for the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. His work has thankfully not gone unnoticed. Bangalore police works with him and calls him whenever there is a case of an unclaimed dead body.

"He is doing a very good job; nobody touches or bothers about an unclaimed dead body. We do believe in rituals, the belief is that if you are not buried properly the Aatma will not rest in peace, so in that way this man is doing a great job," said Sunil Kumar, Additional Commissioner, Law and Order, Bangalore.

Mahadeva's biggest problem now is the lack of burial space in Bangalore.

"There are few burial grounds in Bangalore; all are being encroached for shopping malls and residential areas. I request the government to spare some land for the burial of unclaimed dead bodies otherwise I'll have no place to bury them," said Mahadeva.

Even though his is largely a thankless job, the countless blessings of those unnamed souls inspire Mahadeva to continue.

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