New Delhi: Mohammad Sharif, the man who performed last rites of more than 25,000 unclaimed bodies, was conferred with the Padma Shri, for the 2020.
The 83-year-old former bicycle mechanic received the award from President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on Monday.Popularly known as “Sharif Chacha” in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya, he is reported to have performed the last rites of more than 25,000 unclaimed bodies in the district over three decades.
Sharif took to social service in 1992 after a horrific incident, in which his son Raees was murdered at the height of the communal tensions during the demolition of the Babri Masjid.
He performed the last rites of individuals across religions — Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and Christians. In his district, the police would hand over bodies unclaimed for 72 hours for cremation or burial to him.