Meet Pune’s Christian woman who performs last rites of COVID deceased

Sagayi Nair who performs last rites Christian COVID patients
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Mehab Qureshi

Pune, August 17, 2020: Death rites are considered sacred in every religion. Rituals and rites help us reconcile our loss through the continuity of life and provide support to the mourners. During the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, performing the last rites of the deceased has been a challenge. The country’s overworked municipal corporations have been grappling with performing the last rituals of Coronavirus positive deceased persons.

There are so many instances when the family has rejected the COVID dead bodies, fearing contracting infection from it; the contamination level of this pandemic is too high which increases the chances of fatality. Meanwhile, the NGOs in Pune are working day and night with such high risks.

However, the last rituals are usually performed by men across the country. Breaking the customs and traditions, Sagayi Rajesh Nair of Salisbury Park has been performing the last rites of the COVID deceased without fear.

Speaking to, Sagayi said, “It’s been three months that I have been performing last rituals. Although I have diabetes and hypertension, this doesn’t stop me from this godly work.”

She further informed, “During the early days of COVID pandemic, the deceased were cremated, and nobody was taking the initiative to bury the dead. So I said to myself that dying fighting Corona is better than dying at the hands of Corona. With the help of Mulnivasi Muslim Manch and Christian Charitable trust, I could help the families of the deceased.”

The corona-fighter doesn’t accept any donation or fees for this work.

Sagai Nair Pune

Sagayi said, “I have a six-year-old daughter and a family, hence I take all precautions and believe in God. Currently, I perform the last rites of Christian deceased. I pray for them as the pastors are either scared or unavailable. I pray, I also carry the deceased from the ambulance and bury them respectfully with my own hands.”

While Sagayi continues to do this Godly work, her husband also helps her, and they both believe that Corona can only be defeated when everyone will unite and fight against it.