Many teachers in a hurry to carry out their electoral duties in India later died from coronavirus, their families have said.
Suman Lata’s family begged her to refuse a summons to monitor elections in the state of Uttar Pradesh last month, but, worried about losing her job, the 49-year-old mother of three included went anyway, just as India’s second wave of coronavirus was peaking.
Two weeks later, she was deceased, one of more than 1,600 teachers who died from COVID-19 in the weeks following the ballot box, according to the families of eight victims and mortality data provided by a union of teachers.
“She asked if she could be excused, but the officers said ‘if you are not sick you have to do your duty’,” Lata’s 25-year-old son Vaibhav Agarwal said, sitting in front of her picture, garlanded with flowers in the family home in the city of Mathura, southeast of the capital, New Delhi.
Earlier this month, the Sky News team looked at the tragic consequences of India’s decision to push ahead with municipal and national elections.
The team saw how the coronavirus virus ended up being brought back to rural and remote communities that were previously largely free from the disease.
Find out more here.
The photo below shows Vaibhav Agarwal, the son of Suman Lata.