Woman From Karnataka, For The Past Five Years, Has Been Performing Their Last RitesTo Thousands Of People
At just 28 years of age, Asha V Swamy from Ramanagara has earned a tall reputation for herself — one of providing dignity in death to those who have been denied exactly that.
At just 28 years of age, Asha V Swamy from Ramanagara has earned a tall reputation for herself — one of providing dignity in death to those who have been denied exactly that. She has personally given the last rites and funerals of over 3,000 unclaimed and unidentified dead over the previous five years, as well as tracing and transporting over 4,000 dead to their relatives.
The railway police contact her if there is a death on any track between Kengeri (in Bengaluru) and Mandya. When there is an unclaimed body, even the local police approach her.
Although the conditions of those who died are unknown, Asha has encountered the bodies of the elderly who have been abandoned by family, those who are despondent, and those who are poor. In the instances of accidental deaths, the person may be the family's main breadwinner and may be far away from home.
She recalls how the death of a construction worker spurred her team to look for his family for two days after he died. Her team buried the deceased after performing the last rites because they couldn't find out where it was. She received a phone call from a worried family member in Telangana two days later. He was the only person to earn and send the money for his family, these incidents had left scars on her heart.
She explained that whenever she sees an unclaimed body, she wonders if the person's parents, children, or spouse are anxious to receive it from them. That is why she makes every effort to contact them Her team and the cops investigate the area for any identification markers, such as identification cards, cell phones, or photographs. If no marks are found, they post the information on social media in the hopes that a family member will contact them. Otherwise, they intervene and carry out the last rites.
Ravi Shetty, president of the Karnataka State Labour Council, saw a woman carrying a corpse to an ambulance while dashing through a railway station one day. He started up a chat with Asha and her crew, intrigued, and learned about their job. He found out that Asha, who worked as a farmer and farm laborer, didn't have a lot of money but still she feeds roughly 200 people every day, assists youngsters with school costs, and buries dead that have been abandoned.
Asha mentioned that her friends and family pay whatever they can to Jeeva Raksha Charitable Trust, Asha is able to aid those in need. People with low salaries may be able to pay only Rs 10 to Rs 20, but Asha adds that every penny matters.
Channapatna DySP Ramesh K enabled the transfer of an ambulance from the Jnana Yogi Lion's Club after witnessing her efforts firsthand last year.
Several people had witnessed her work and came forward to offer help. Rakesh R Gowda, a team member, and contributor, has been assisting Asha in moving bodies and distributing food for the past five years while juggling three jobs as a food transporter, delivery person, and milk unloader. He sets out to assist Asha after a long day.
Meanwhile, in the initial stage, many in her family were first opposed to her commitment to helping the deceased. Her parents, spouse, and her brother-in-law were against her attending to the bodies of the deceased. It took a while to persuade them, but they eventually came around and supported her.