ibnlive » India

Mar 09, 2009 at 06:04pm IST

This man gives the anonymous dignity in death

Faizabad: In a bustling lane in Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh, Mohd Sharif stands out in the crowd. When all around him are living each day, fighting their own battles, 75-year-old Sharif is turning the wheel for the poor and sometimes the dead.

They say tragedy changes lives. It certainly did for Sharif when his eldest son, Rais Khan, died under mysterious circumstances. A month after he disappeared, the police handed over to him a packet containing his son's clothes. Overwhelmed with grief, Sharif gathered courage and decided no one else would suffer death in anonymity.

“We searched for one month and then the police gave us his shirt. Then we found out that he is dead. We hope this does not happen to anyone,” Sharif said.

It is at the small graveyard Taad ki Takiya that Sharif Bhai finds peace. In the last 15 years, he has laid many an unclaimed body to rest, Hindu and Muslim.

“Every human being has the same blood. I don’t differentiate between Hindus and Muslims,” Sharif said.

For a cycle mechanic by profession, Sharif barely makes both ends meet. His family comprises of an ailing wife who still grieves for her son and a young daughter who has to be married off, but personal battles can wait for another day.

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