Sunday, September 24, 2017

From Cremating Dead Bodies To Supporting Bereaved Families, Resham Singh Does It All To Serve Mankind!

For the last 17 years, Resham Singh has been carrying dead bodies to the cremation ground. That’s his profession and he also earns a living out of it. But this 40-year-old man also makes it a point to be a part of the entire funeral ceremony, offering all possible help to the bereaved families.


My City Links found out more about this man from Punjab who has found a home away from home in the capital city of Bhubaneswar. Excerpts from the interview:


Tell us something about yourself.

I am basically from Punjab and here I stay with my wife and two children, a son and a daughter. I stay in a rented house in the gurudwara and earn my living by driving dead bodies to the cremation ground. I came to this city some 17 years back looking for a job. When I visited the gurudwara, I found out that there were no drivers allotted for carrying dead bodies to the cremation ground.  So I went up and asked them if they wanted to hire me. After I drove for a few days, they made me permanent here.

Resham Singh_01


What is the reason behind settling for a job like this?

It was not a plan. Earlier, I was a truck driver in Haldipadia but I believe that this job was in my destiny. My family and I are happy with the way things are going every day now. I see death very closely everyday but that does not deter me in any way from doing my job. They say service to mankind is service to God.


Isn’t it scary, witnessing death daily?

Death doesn’t scare me. This is my profession and I go with the course life has offered me. Initially, it was a little uncomfortable but now I have got used to this life and I have no complaints.


What makes you take part in the entire cremation rituals?

There are many people like me who take dead bodies to the cremation ground. But I believe I should do more than just the assigned job. I feel as if I am a part of the family during that time, it drives me to lend a helping hand. And, for me, religion is no bar as I am a human first. That’s the reason many people depend on me and also call me at odd hours in the night.


Have there been any incidents which have had a lasting impression on you?

There have been many actually. Once there was a man in Nayapalli who lived alone. His neighbour informed me about his death so I went and performed all the last rites in Satya Nagar cremation ground without thinking about money and then, there was this man from Kerala who was very happy with my work and decided to gift me a lakh of rupees because I stood by his side throughout the funeral ceremony. I rejected his offer and told him to donate the money in the gurudwara instead. So, he got us a freezer for the car for better preservation of dead bodies.

Resham Singh_02


What inspires you to keep going?

My desire to serve people and be with them in times of need is what inspires me to keep going. Death is something which is extremely painful for a family and if by being with them for the funeral ceremony, I can be of some help to them, I am more than happy doing it every time.


Resham Singh truly serves the mankind in a daring way. Respect to him for taking up such a gutsy job voluntarily!