Vijayawada, April 2: An officer attached to the Government Railway Police (GRP) recently gave his mother's funeral a miss while enforcing the lockdown imposed to contain the coronavirus outbreak. Sub-Inspector K Shantaram watched the last rites of his mother through a video call. He was enforcing lockdown orders near the Vijayawada railway station, 400 km far from his native village in Vizianagaram district, when he heard about her demise on Saturday. Coronavirus Death Toll in India Rises to 53, COVID-19 Count Crosses 2000 With 235 Cases in The Past 24 Hours.
"He grieved for her, but chose to stay and continue his work. He remained calm and actively fulfilled his duties despite the loss," GRP circle inspector (CI) Udatha Bangarraju was quoted by The News Indian Express as saying. Shantaram’s mother Seethamahalakshmi, who died due to age-related ailments, was living with his younger brother. Asked why he chose not to attend his monther's last rites, the Sub-Inspector said it was his contribution towards the fight against coronavirus. 50 Medical Staff Members Have Tested Positive For Coronavirus So Far, Reveals Health Ministry.
"To reach Vizianagaram, I would have had to cross four districts and 40 checkpoints, and come across several people. If I got infected with COVID-19 on the way, I might have spread it to others. I’m not only concerned about my safety; I cannot put other people’s lives at risk," Shantaram elaborated. He handed over the responsibility of conducting the last rites to his brother and watched it through a video call.
"My family is proud of me for this decision. My mother wouldn’t want me to abandon my duties at a time like this, and I am doing what I can to honour her," an emotional Shantaram said. According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Andhra Pradesh has reported 86 coronavirus cases, including one death.