The pallbearers’ refusal

The pallbearers at Doongerwadi have refused to carry Covid afflicted corpses to the dakhmas. The president of the Mumbai Mazdoor Sabha, Chandbibi Zaidi, and the pallbearers conveyed this message to the five Bombay Parsi Punchayet trustees at a meeting at the Union office on March 5, 2022. All the pallbearers unanimously signed a letter stating they would refuse to handle Covid cadavers even if full protective gear is offered, quarantine leave is paid, an additional Rs 10,000 per pallbearer per cadaver is given, Covid insurance is given for the full family, etc. They even refused to clean the interiors of the dakhma assigned for Covid afflicted corpses. "They are scared if something happens to us who will take care of our family,” explained Zaidi. "They informed the trustees that they could terminate their services, but they will not carry the bodies.” Within a short time of this news appearing on social media, four community activists volunteered their services as pallbearers — Arzan Ghadially, Shahrukh Billimoria, Keka Irani and Zoru Bhathena.             Doongerwadi picture for representational purpose ...

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