Pandemic Profiles From India’s Capital (Photo Essay)

NEW DELHI—In just about two weeks as the COVID-19 pandemic surged to record-breaking levels in India, a crematorium in Sare Kale Khan on the outskirts of the country’s national capital region built 125 new pyre platforms, including 75 under construction on May 4.

The Epoch Times visited the crematorium on Tuesday and noticed that both the green lawns outside the old crematorium have been speedily converted into an additional facility to manage the demand. Outside the main premises on the side of the dusty, unconstructed road, 75 new pyre platforms are currently under construction.

Funeral pyres under construction at a crematorium at Sare Kale Khan outside New Delhi on May 4, 2021. (Venus Upadhyaya):

On May 4 New Delhi saw its biggest spike of deaths, with 448 reported in the last 24 hours, while the country saw  357,229 new COVID cases in the same period. The three civic bodies of Delhi working to meet the surge in deaths are operating 28 COVID cremation and burial sites and have increased the COVID cremation capacity to 1,060 daily, according to the Times of India.

Inside the newly built crematoriums on the lawns of Sare Kale Khan, remnants of the last day cremations were visible while new pyres were being laid. A slew of cremation workers ferried wood on carts while people chanted mantras as they lit the pyres of their loved ones.

Funeral pyres at a crematorium at Sare Kale Khan outside New Delhi on May 4, 2021. (Venus Upadhyaya):

The Epoch Times captured a few pandemic profiles from the crematorium.

Father of a Leading Executive

Epoch Times Photo
Madhav Swaroop, 89, father of a leading corporate executive died due to COVID and age-related complications 3 days after testing positive for COVID. In this picture, Swaroop’s body is laid on a flower-decked pyre before being offered the customary wood on the afternoon of May 4, 2021, at the lawns of Sare Kale Khan crematorium in the outskirts of New Delhi. (Venus Upadhayaya/Epoch Times)

Gazetted Officer of India’s National Informatics Center

Epoch Times Photo
The pyre of 45-year-old Sher Pal Singh, a gazetted officer with India’s National Information Center catches fire at the Sarai Kale Khan crematorium on May 4, 2021. Singh, a father of two daughters and one son passed away at the hospital one week after testing positive. (Venus Upadhayaya/Epoch Times)

Father of a Foreign Policy Journalist

Epoch Times Photo
The father of a foreign policy journalist with a national daily who asked not to be identified is prepared for cremation at the electric crematorium of Sarai Kale Khan crematorium in the outskirts of Delhi on May 4, 2021. (Venus Upadhayaya/Epoch Times)

Immersing Ashes in Yamuna River

Epoch Times Photo
The foreign policy journalist chose to immerse her father’s ashes in the waters of the river Yamuna at ghat number 11 outside Nigam Bodh Ghat crematorium in Delhi on May 4, 2021. The journalist was alone. Her mother had recently been operated on and when her father died due to COVID at home, she sought a charity’s assistance for her father’s cremation. (Venus Upadhayaya/Epoch Times)


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