Bhongir: At a time when many people dread even participating in cremation near and dear one who succumbed to Covid-19, Chenna Mahesh, a realtor, has been personally helping families in performing the last rites as per traditions besides extending Rs 5,000 financial assistance to each bereaved family. The financial assistance is extended to people irrespective of their community.
“So far, I have extended financial assistance to 22 families, besides personally monitoring the final rites,” says Mahesh, who is into real estate business. The idea is to help people in these testing times, he added. Due to Covid, many people hesitate to participate in cremation including those of family members, the realtor says.
This apart, local residents opposed cremation of those, who succumbed to Covid. In association with the Bhongir municipality, now the cremation is done on the town outskirts. “People call us for help in cremation and we help them in arranging all the required materials. Even, if the family members do not turn up, we take up the cremation along with municipality”, says Mahesh, who is husband of 17th ward councillor Chenna Swathi.
In addition to helping people in cremation, Chenna Mahesh has been distributing free food to the poor and needy. He hired four cooks and eight youngsters to pack the food and an autorickshaw for transportation.
Every day, about 250 to 300 food packs each comprising rice, dal, curry, curd and water packets, are distributed to people at Ayyappa Swamy Temple and different places.
The objective is to feed those who are hungry. Apart from poor and downtrodden, many people, especially those travelling in trains do not have food to eat. After obtaining special permission from police, food packs are distributed to passengers at the Railway station, he says.
Separate food packs are arranged for police personnel posted on duty in the lockdown. It is tough for police personnel, though most can afford to pay but with hotels remaining closed, they find it difficult, he informs.
Apart from food distribution, Chenna Mahesh also distributes Covid medicine kits and essential commodities kits to those who tested positive. Each kit costs about Rs 1500 and nearly 600 kits have been distributed in the town, he says. This novel work began commenced last year when lockdown was imposed for the first time. “The plight of migrant workers and poor moved me a lot. That’s when I decided to do my bit for the society. Everyday, about 800 food packs were distributed for 45 days” says Mahesh, who joined TRS party and his wife won from 17th ward in 2020.
He now plans to help an old age home at Choutuppal, where about 400 people are accommodated. The sad part is 80 of them had tested positive for Covid. Though the orphanage management is providing food and medicines, they are finding it difficult to manage things. About Rs 2 lakh worth rice, dal, edible oil and other commodities will be arranged to the old age home in a week, he adds.
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