Bhagyashree, an Indore-based social worker, who looks after rehabilitation of homeless and helpless elderly suffering from serious diseases and cremation of the dead lying on the road, is an example not only for women but for the whole society.
She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Archaeology.
“I was inspired by the works of Amarjit Singh Sudan, also called ‘Father Teresa’ of Indore,” said Bhagyashree Kharkhadia speaking.
“I worked with him for five years. Sudan helped such helpless and destitute people for years. He died last year. I am only taking forward the work done by him. After the lockdown eased up, I am now helping the hapless people living on the streets. Along with their rehabilitation and treatment, I also take care of funerals upon their deaths,” Bhagyashree added.
She calls her father, Brajmohan Lodetiya, and husband, Naveen Kharkhadia, as two pillars of her strength.
Bhagyashree has been working all through the COVID-19 pandemic. She, however, remains worried about her two-year-old son.
“Many people contact me on the phone. Among these were the elderly who I found in front of the state’s largest government MY hospital. They had insects all over their bodies. I took them to Jyoti Niwas Ashram,” she said.
She wants to give a message to society to assist her in helping the destitute.
Naveen Kharkhadia, Bhagyashree’s husband, is a railway employee. He not only chips in with his salary in his wife’s work but also helps in her work after returning from his job.
“Bhagyashree’s intentions inspire me. I help her in her work. On holidays, I join them and I also incur expenses from my salary. We leave our child with his grandmother,” Naveen said.
Sohan Kalyane, a worker at the crematorium, said, “When an unclaimed or damaged mutilated body comes, we call Bhagyashree and she performs the last rites. We are proud of her.”
Another employee, Bablu Kuril, said, “Ma’am herself brings them in an ambulance and cremates them with the entire legal procedure, including the expenses incurred in the funeral. Sometimes, three to four dead bodies come in a day.”