|It is service to Humanity|
Hoardings are the skylines of the present modern cities educating the common public for the forthcoming products, schemes, etc. OOH is common term in the advertising industry which means Out Of Home advertising. Billboards and hoarding are being expedited and the research and development in advertising industry have revolutionarised this mode of advertisement. The catchy and elegant hoardings and billboards add to the decoration of the cities, we can say these are the clothing for the cities. But in Faizabad we see difference in the OOH advertising–there is no product or catchy caption–in stead it reads; if you find unidentified body or unattended patient contact Mohd Sharif.
|Mohd. Sharif who has defeated sorrows|
I read it and out of curiosity went to meet Mohd Sharif. A person more than 70 years in age, with grey beard, wearing white kurta pajama, performing a job of a cycle mechanic, which is his only source of livelihood. Residing in Mohalla Khidki Alibeig, Mohd Sharif also dreamt unlike all the parents to educate his children and this he did to the brim making his eldest son-Mohd Rais-a doctor. Mohd Rais went to Sultanpur–a small town in UP’s Awadh region–and never returned back. His clothes and the wrist watch proclaimed his mysterious death after about a month. As per the normal human behaviour one is shattered on the death of ones young off-spring but it was different in case of Mohd Sharif. The entire episode had a turning point. Death of his young son left his wife in a state of shock leaving her speechless, till date. Mohd Sharif could not perform the last rituals for his son and since then till today has performed last rituals of more than 1600 dead considering all to be his own loved ones.
|Mohd. Rais, son of Sharif Chacha|
18 years have passed for this Good Samaritan doing this noble act. His act is not confiding to Muslims but to Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, etc and he performs the last rites of the dead according to their respective religious rituals. He has criminated about 900 Hindus, 600 Muslims and rest from other faiths. When asked why he started to do this the prompt reply from Mohd Sharif was, “All the human beings are children of one God and I have pledged that I will do this till my last breath to save others from the fate like my son”. This humanly cause of Mohd Sharif has added a suffix to his name as Chacha–uncle–and is now popular as Sharif Chacha.
Thanks giving prayers starts the day of Sharif Chacha at about 5 am which is sequential to his daily walk to the local hospital of which he is an integral part now, as stated by a hospital staff. A senior resident doctor said, “I have seen patients recovering with the kind and parental care of Sharif Chacha and going back to their homes. Without fail he comes here and does the sponging and cleaning of the patient’s body which the real parents might not do sometimes”.
Faizabad is adjacent to Ayodhya which has seen a communal riot on the eve of demolition of Babri Masjid. But it is Mohd Sharif who has been the thread to weaving the communal blanket with his noble gesture. It is not only that he takes care of the unclaimed dead bodies of Faizabad but also from Ayodhya. “His transformation is completely remarkable. He could have nurtured anger towards humanity for his son’s death as not able to perform the last rituals, in stead he started to perform the last rituals for all the abandoned death bodies and made it his strength,” was the comment of C. K. Mishra a journalist. R. S. Gupta the city magistrate said, “Sharif Chacha is our identity. He is a living symbol of national integration”. All the people of Faizabad and Ayodhya respect Sharif Chacha from common citizens to the priests and the government officials. “We all adore Sharif Chacha the torch bearer of humanity and it was this year that we facilitate him on the Republic day,” were the comments of R. K. S Rathore (IPS).
An African had been playing the role of Hanuman in Ayodhya for many years. It happened so that the actor got badly burnt during the performance. None of the Ram Bhakt came forward to care for the ailing Ram Bhakt. It was only Sharif Chacha who took care of him till his last breath. “According to Hindu scriptures, the family of the dead is entitled to perform the last rites but when Mohd Sharif does it for the unclaimed dead is a supreme act,” was the comment of Acharya Satendrya Das (Main Priest Sri Ram JanamBhoomi). He further added that Sharif’s age has never been any hindrance in his noble acts and that too single handedly. Dr. KarunaSheel (Budh Priest) said, “Sharif Sahib is a living angel doing the noblest job for the people who are entirely dependent on others for the final journey. He is not given help of any kind from anyone but he still performs his act as a duty”.
An old house property of Wafq Board has been the shelter for this Good Samaritan for all these years. The financial conditions for this living angle are always meager and still in this derisory state he is happy with a desire of wedding for his daughter who has attained the age of marriage. “I request the government to provide me a railway pass so that I may take the patients to their homes after they recover to health,” was the desire which Sharif Chacha shared with me.
It was a group of youngsters who jointly put in efforts and made a documentary on Sharif Chacha, “Rising from the Ashes”. “They came to this city and work with me and it was first time I felt that there are people in this world who have a caring heart,” said Sharif Chacha. “Rising from the Ashes” is produced and directed by Mohd. Gufaran Khan, Shah Alam, Syed Ali Akhtar and Shariq Haider Naqvi who have proved that we still have the heart and all the people are sons of one God.