Malda: A Malda village set an example in communal ha-rmony when a group of Muslim youths performed a Hindu neighbour’s last rites.
Toto driver Rambilas Ch-oudhury (50), a resident of Moregram, was diagnosed with a kidney infection about six months ago. The ailment proved a financial burden for Rambilas and his wife Mina, who had three children. It was then that the youths from Madhaipur — Hasan Raja and others — pooled money for his treatment. They even bought new clothes for Rambilas’ children during Durga Puja.
When Rambilas died on Saturday night, the youths took the body to his village. When they found his family had no money to cremate him, they raised sums from Rs 10 to Rs 100 from reside-nts. The money helped buy bamboo sticks and a bed for the body. They then carried the body to Sadullapur crem-ation ground while chanting Bolo Hori, Hori bol and spreading khoi along the road.
They were accompanied by a number of Hindu youths.
The group not only performed the rituals, they even fed those at the cremation ground. “The way Hasan, Imran and Rajesh volunteered is unforgettable. Without them, the cremation would not have been performed,” a resident said.
Weeping, Mina said: “It is nothing new. They have been with us since my husband fell ill. God bless them.” Mainura Biwi, Lalnur Bewa and other Muslim women consoled her.
However, Hasan saw nothing special in the gesture. “It is our duty to stand beside neighbours. We did our bit for Rambilasda’s treatment. We will do his shradh as well.”