New Delhi, October 17— President of India Ram Nath Kovind has extended help to the family of ambulance driver Aarif Khan who died of Coronavirus earlier this month after ferrying over 200 bodies of Corona patients in the last six months.
Sanjeev Kumar, District Magistrate, Shahdara, visited the residence of the family in northeast Delhi Saturday morning and handed over the cheque and a condolence letter from the President.
P. Praveen Siddarth, Private Secretary to the President, had given the cheque and the condolence letter to the district authorities on Friday on behalf of the President. The cheque was issued in favour of Sultana Begum, widow of the deceased. Khan is survived by wife, two sons and two daughters.
Since March this year when the Coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic hit Delhi and other parts of the country, Aarif Khan, 48, had dedicated himself in the service of the Covid patients. He would ferry patients to hospitals and dead bodies to cremation ground. In the last six months, he had ferried close to 200 bodies of Covid patients. On October 3, he tested positive for the virus and succumbed to the disease at Hindu Rao Hospital on October 10.
He was employed with the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Sewa Dal, an NGO that provides free emergency services in Delhi and neighbouring areas.
He ensured everyone got a farewell but his own family couldn’t give him that. They saw his body from afar for a few minutes, said Jitender Singh Shunty, founder of Sewa Dal.
Vice President of India M. Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday condoled the passing away of Covid warrior ambulance driver Aarif Khan. “His acts of kindness symbolise the core of Indian philosophy of ‘share & care’”, the VP tweeted through the official twitter handle of his secretariat.
My condolences to the bereaved family members of ambulance driver, Aarif Khan of Delhi. He rendered selfless service by ferrying close to 200 bodies of COVID-19 patients for their last rites. It is saddening to learn that he succumbed to the Coronavirus.https://t.co/FlGaY80NhO
— Vice President of India (@VPSecretariat) October 11, 2020
The VP tweeted a news link about the death of ambulance driver and wrote his comment: “My condolences to the bereaved family members of ambulance driver, Aarif Khan of Delhi. He rendered selfless service by ferrying close to 200 bodies of COVID-19 patients for their last rites. It is saddening to learn that he succumbed to the Coronavirus. His acts of kindness symbolise the core of Indian philosophy of ‘share & care’. May his soul rest in eternal peace.”
Khan’s son Mohammad Aadil said the economic condition of the family is not good as his father was sole breadwinner. “The condition is bad. He was running the house alone. I and my brother would do some small work but it also stopped during the lockdown.”
“My father carried over 200 bodies of Corona victims to cremation ground and qabristan. He did not differentiate between Hindu and Muslim. Now he has left us alone,” said Aadil.
He said that people are coming and offering sympathy and promises but the family has not got any help except the monetary help from the President of India.
“We have not got any support. People are coming to meet us. Today DM saheb came and gave us a cheque of Rs two lakh sent by the Rashtrapati ji. We have not got any support from Kejriwal ji (chief minister of Delhi),” said whose family lives in a rented house.