Jalandhar, 11 novembre
It was seven months after his death that the family of Satnam Singh Basra (25) from Alaman village of Gurdaspur received his remains today. An illegal immigrant to France, Basra reportedly committed suicide on April 2 when he was tested positive for Covid. Unable to recover his body on their own due to the poor financial situation, his brother Harnek Singh and his brother-in-law Hardeep Singh had sought the help of French philanthropist NRI Iqbal Singh Bhatti, who reached Jalandhar today.
Like Basra, there were seven other families from the Punjab who had come to receive the ashes of their relatives.
“My brother-in-law had such a traumatic experience traveling to France illegally that our family cannot recover from the loss. As he had left here illegally three years ago, it took him a year to reach France. We learned that he had saved 1,500 euros, but we were unable to obtain the amount. We were also told that his body had both hands tied so we also expected that this could be a murder case as we had spoken to Satnam hours before his death and he looked normal, ”he said. said Hardeep.
Even more tragic is the story of Geeta Rani, 71, from Nadalo village in Hoshiarpur, whose son Labh Kumar died in an accident on May 29 in Paris. Receiving her ashes today, she said: “It has been 18 years since my son left for France. Since he was an illegal immigrant, he quietly continued to do menial jobs the entire time and was never able to return. I didn’t even get the chance to see her body one last time. It was his ashes that finally reached me.
Bhatti, who has managed to send 178 bodies of Indians for free through his NGO Aurore Dawn since 2003, said 13 Indians have died since the pandemic this year. “I managed to send the bodies of two people. I was cremated the rest of them and now I have their ashes with them. The day before my return, three families took the ashes of their relatives from me at the airport, while eight of them, from the Punjab, received them today, ”he added.