Preacher Wasim reads prayers at the funeral of Azhar, a seven-month-old who died of Covid-19 Friday | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
Preacher Wasim reads prayers at the funeral of Azhar, a seven-month-old who died of Covid-19 Friday | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
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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.

Azhar was brought to the burial ground in an ambulance | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
They say the smallest coffins are the heaviest. Azhar’s body, wrapped in plastic, was brought to the burial ground in an ambulance | Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
Imam Wasim put Azhar on a white cloth before the prayer | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
Imam Wasim lays Azhar on a white cloth sheet before performing funeral prayers | Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
Caretaker of the graveyard Shamim gives water to the infant for the last time | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
Shamim pours rosewater on the infant’s corpse as part of the funeral rituals. Islamic rituals require a body to be washed before it’s buried. Since this can’t be done for Covid patients, rosewater is poured on bodies as an alternative | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
He was laid in rest by Shamim and Wasim in PPE kit) | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
Just about seven months after he came into this world, Azhar is laid to rest | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
The body seven month old Azar | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
Azhar didn’t have any family by his side when he was buried Saturday| Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint


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2 Comments Share Your Views


  1. Please do not see religion here. Those pictures of a lone child buried are grim, irrespective of whose it was. I see the helplessness of the parents of a kid died of Covid in the current conditions, who could not be at their kids burial place. I understand similar is the fate of many who are dying of Covid. Not blaming anyone, just feeling.

  2. You give excess fond coverage to Muslim stories. Many Hindu infants died too. You didn’t report them with so much love.


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