New Delhi: It was a lonely last journey for Azhar, a seven-month-old Covid-19 patient who was buried at the Jadid Qabristan Ahle Islam in Delhi’s ITO area Saturday by the staff of the cemetery.
His parents, ThePrint learnt, had left Delhi for their home in Madhya Pradesh Friday, after stealing one last glance at their infant son. Out of money, they were struggling to eat and staying in Delhi was proving difficult too.
Azhar, a patient of multiple cutaneous hemangiomas, a neurological birth defect, was admitted to a hospital in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, on 22 June. As his condition deteriorated, he was referred to AIIMS Delhi. On 9 July, Azhar’s father Akhtar, mother Sajida and aunt Rubina came to Delhi, and the child was admitted to the hospital the same evening. On the morning of 10 July, his family was told that Azhar, who had tested positive for coronavirus, had passed away.
By evening, Akhtar, Sajida and Rubina were on their way home to Bhind. Asked why they left without burying their son, Akhtar told ThePrint over the phone that it was a decision driven by helplessness. He said he saw Azhar’s face one last time, and authorised the hospital to bury him.
“We did not know anything in Delhi, we had not had anything to eat since we came here, it was a hassle to stay in the capital city… We also did not have any idea about burial in Delhi, so we decided to go back to Bhind,” he added.
Back at the cemetery, Azhar’s tiny body, wrapped in blue plastic, made for a heartbreaking sight as it was brought out of the ambulance. It was interred in keeping with Islamic rituals. With no family members present, preacher Wasim and caretaker Shamim said a quiet prayer as the infant was lowered into the ground.