Padma Shri awardee Mohammad Sharif, who is said to have cremated over 25,000 unclaimed bodies in the last 25 years, is suffering from serious ailments but unable to afford treatment due to poverty. According to a report in news agency PTI, Mohammad Sharif, who is also known as “Messiah of Lavarai Lasheen”, was found lying on his bed at his home in Mohalla Khirki Ali Baig in Ayodhya on Thursday.
Padma awardee, Mohammad Sharif alias ‘Sharif Chacha’, is a “bicycle mechanic who has been cremating thousands of unclaimed dead bodies for the last 25 years. He has cremated more than 25,000 unclaimed bodies in and around Faizabad. According to a statement from the Government of India that announced the Padma Awards 2020, he never discriminated on the basis of religion.
President Kovind presents Padma Shri to Shri Mohammad Shareef for Social Work. He is a cycle mechanic turned social worker. He performs last rites of unclaimed dead bodies of all religions with full dignity. pic.twitter.com/ccJlTIsqNH
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) November 8, 2021
The family expects some pension
Sharif uncle was lying almost unconscious on his bed, his family members said that they were still expecting some pension against his award so that they could afford his treatment. Mohammad Sharif’s son Shagir said that he had received a letter from the Union Home Ministry last year informing him that he had been selected for the Padma Shri award.
Shagir said that Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla’s letter dated January 31, 2020, further stated that the date of awarding him would be intimated soon. He said his father was selected for the award on the recommendation of Lallu Singh, BJP MP from Faizabad. When asked about the status of the award, Singh also expressed surprise and asked, “Has he still not received the award?” He promised to see it.
Sharif’s family is unable to bear the cost of the house
Shagir said that he works as a private driver and earns Rs 7,000 per month. While his father’s treatment alone costs Rs 4,000 per month. He said, “We have a very difficult time. We are not even able to afford the house. Due to paucity of money, we are not even able to get proper treatment for our father.”
He said, “Till recently, we depended on a local doctor for his treatment. But due to paucity of money, we are not able to do that too.”