The manager who does funerals for abandoned bodies
S. Sreedhar is a normal professional person just like any one of us, but he has a different side that none of us would ever try to follow. He is the Associate Vice president of India-Infoline scores of professionals around us.
He read a book called Daivathin (God’s Voice) written by Chandrashekharendra Saraswati, the Paramacharya of Kanchi Mutt. The book inspired him to take up a typical work, helping those who do not have anybody to do the same for them. The essence of the book recommends giving every dead person a decent farewell without looking at the dead man’s religion or caste. This had changed his mind, and he expressed his desire to do this unusual work to Paramcharya, who blessed him to move forward. He took up his mind’s desire equipped with the blessing of Paramacharya, he commenced his arduous journey in the year 1985. Ever since, he has cremated about 600 dead unclaimed men he found in hospitals and old age homes. His spare time and the weekends he spends in the crematorium for this noble work. If anyone expresses his remorseful feelings for him, he contradicts him by saying that he enjoys the work with calmness and bliss.
After his resolve, he went to an old age home named Vishranti to meet Savithri Vaithi, who runs the home, but knew that she has gone to cremate a person. He knew that this woman is performing the last rites of all the people, who die there. Within days, he went there to collect an elderly woman’s body, and became aware that the woman has a son and a daughter, but they refused to come to do the last rite of their mother. Sreedhar lit the pyre of the woman for the first time and felt extremely happy and content. Being the first time, the woman kept coming in his mind repeatedly. The fact of her children’s refusal did put him in deep thought without sleep that night. He was disturbed with the meaning of relationship.
The second case was an old man in his deathbed in hospital direly craving to meet his only daughter. Sreedhar met the daughter to inform her about her father’s plight, but she did not come. The reason of her not coming to see her father just for once is that her father did not approve her marriage to a man of her choice. Again, he did the last rite of this old man. Two consecutive incidents, where own son and daughter refused to attend the cremation of their parents confirmed that for these people in the old age home relation has no meaning anymore.
His work confined to Vishranthi and another old age home for the war widows Nimmathi in the first few years. There were no helping hands for him at that time. In the year 2001, he established Anadha Pretha Kaninkarya Trust along with some like-minded friends for cremating unclaimed bodies (Anadha Pretha). He collects unclaimed dead bodies from government hospital mortuaries and old age homes in Chennai. His unique way of performing the last rite is to sing ‘Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram, Patit o Pawano Sita Ram’ and his sincere prayer for the departed soul.
The day he was encounter by the journalist, he informed that he buried 17 people that day without knowing religion and caste of any one of those, but he surely felt their blessings with strong vibrations of those passing souls. He further said his life is full of bliss and peace after taking this gracious work.