Covid victim's ashes to reach home from UAE 2 yrs after death

Sijo Paul and healthcare worker Tahira Kallumurikkal with Rajkumar's ashes. Photo: Manorama Online.

Dubai: The mortal remains of a Kanyakumari native who died two years ago in Dubai would finally be taken to his native place for the final rites soon.

This has been possible now with the help of two Keralites who came to know about the plight of the bereaved ones by chance.

COVID-19 had claimed the life on Rajkumar Thankappan on May 14, 2020 in the Emirate. Rajkumar was cremated there itself as it was difficult to repatriate the body at the peak of the pandemic, especially with flight ban world over.

Tragically, Rajkumar's wife had died sometime before his demise and the couple's children back home in India were distraught and helpless.

Kottayam native Sijo Paul came to know through a message on a WhatsApp group that the couple's children wished to see at least the ashes of their father.

Sijo then decided to procure the ashes. He obtained all the documents from Rajkumar's native place, completed the procedures and obtained the ashes. But he could not travel back home due to the lockdown restrictions and also due to a job change subsequently.

Manorama Online had reported that Sijo wanted to ensure that the ashes is taken to Rajkumar's children.

Subsequently, Tahira Kallumurikkal, a healthcare worker at Al Ain and a native of Kozhikode in Kerala, came forward to help.

Tahira was given permission to take the ashes to Rajkumar's native place. Then all the stringent procedures for taking the ashes to his native place were completed and permission was granted on Thursday.

Sijo will keep the ashes till Tahira commences her journey.

A Covid frontline warrior, Tahira had written a book 'Ee Samayavum Kadannu Pokum' — meaning This time too shall pass — about her experiences during the pandemic. She has already handed over the money she got from the book sales for the education of Rajkumar's son.

The children of the deceased are grateful to the two Keralites who made such an effort for the family of a person they had never even met.

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