The man had been battling heart-related ailments for long and collapsed while playing cricket.

No land for cremation Kerala Muslim family lends plot for Hindu mans last rites
news Society Thursday, December 21, 2017 - 17:27

Kasargode district in the northern end of Kerala has been in the news lately, but for all the wrong reasons-  regarding a few people’s alleged links with terror outfit Islamic State.

However, in a departure from this, a shining example of religious harmony in the district has come through. 

A Muslim family came to the aid of a Hindu family who had lost their son to a cardiac arrest and had no land to cremate their son. 

Twenty-six-year-old Padmanabhan used to work in a mobile shop and died on Saturday. He had been battling heart-related ailments for long and collapsed while playing cricket. 

Sanalkumar, a teacher from the area told TNM, “The regional cricket matches have been held on all Sundays and Saturdays and Padmanabhan used to play sometimes. Though other players immediately took him to hospital, he died on the way.”

The family in Jodkallu, Paivalige Grama panchayat, which shares the border with Karnataka, lives in a small one-bedroom house on four cents of land.

Only a few communities in the region have a crematorium for themselves, that too far away from where they live. 

Narayanan and Chandravathy, parents of Padmanabhan, were struggling to cope with the loss of their son. The lack of a place to cremate him only added to their woes. 

Sensing the situation, Abdul Khader, Narayanan’s neighbour stepped in to help. Padmanabhan was laid to rest on Khader’s plot. 

This is not the first time that Khader’s family had helped Narayanan. A few years ago, they had given land to cremate Padmanabhan’s grandmother as well.

“When I had gone to the house, Khadeeja, mother of Abdul Khader, told me that these are the situations when people should come and help each other. Both the families share a warm relation and go to each other’s house during special occasions. Likewise, Padmanabhan used to rush whenever Abdul Khader’s family needed any help.”

Padmanabhan’s family has been finding it hard to make ends meet. Narayanan is a daily wage labourer but since it’s a village, he won’t get work on a daily basis. Chandravathy makes beedi sitting at home, which doesn’t earn the family much income. Dinakaran, Padmanabhan’s elder brother, is working in a small private firm.

“In the recent renewal of ration cards, like many other families, this family too were categorised as Above Poverty Line (APL), which was a shift from the earlier Below Poverty Line (BPL). As a result, they couldn’t avail of many government sponsored benefits, including reduced fare for treatment at hospitals. The family is in huge debt after borrowing money for the treatment expenses of Padmanabhan. He had been treated at many hospitals in Kerala, as well as a few in Mangaluru. Also since the family members are not well educated, they actually don’t know whom to approach or where to go for assistance. They don’t even have a well or tap for water, though they had paid money for it. They fetch water from a well located far away,” Sanal Kumar said.

Both the families were not available for comment.

Sanalkumar added, “Chandravathy told me that if Abdul Khader’s family hadn’t helped them, they had no clue what they would have done. They are in the dark about the future also. The local people had helped them to an extent to meet the treatment expense of their son, but they still had to borrow. They are comfortable speaking in Kannada, rather than Malayalam and since they live in a border region, it hasn’t received much of the authorities’ attention.”

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