Thursday came with a dangerous problem for the people of Kheni village in Uttara Kannada. Sushila Gavaskar, an 80-year-old resident of the village passed away, and the residents had to take her body to the cremation ground. Except, the bridge connecting Kheni village to its cemetery collapsed a year ago, and the stream underneath has been filled with water, thanks to the heavy rain that has been lashing coastal Karnataka in the past week.
This, however did not deter the residents of the village, who came together to ensure that the funeral was not delayed.
First the residents carried piles of wood over their heads across the stream making sure that they did not get wet. Following this, four residents of the village braved the dangerously high waters to carry the body of the woman across the stream, watching out for each other along the way. The family of the victim and the heads of the village then crossed the river in a tense few hours to make sure that the funeral went ahead as planned.
Kheni is located 4 km away from Ankola in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. The residents of the village urged the Ankola Town Municipality to construct a new bridge immediately citing that the administration had failed in its duty to build a sturdy bridge.
“The cement bridge was washed away during the last monsoon season. After that, in case of a death, we take the body crossing the stream. There is not much water in the stream, except during the rainy season. But this time it was different. This reflects failure on the administration’s part,” said Santosh Gaonkar speaking to The New Indian Express.