Some people are born tough and strong. Some choose the very difficult and unique path to pursue their dreams and get satisfaction out of that. But today we will discuss someone who is a combination of both. She is tough, strong, confident, and has chosen the path which no one can even think of doing it.
This COVID-19 has shown us how our loved ones are scared to perform the last rites of the people who died with this. But in such a situation, Versha Verma, resident of Lucknow, Capital of Uttar Pradesh performs the last rites of people who lost their lives to the Coronavirus.
She runs an NGO “ Ek Koshish Aise Bhi”.
In conversation with Women Shine.
WS: Tell us about ” Ek Koshish Aise Bhi”
VV: “Ek Koshish Aisi Bhi” team provide medical facility to the destitute, the poor people living on the footpath, or critically ill people who have lost their hope for survival. We provide food, medicine, etc till they recover. In case of death of the patient, our NGO ensures that the deceased is properly cremated following all rituals accordingly. Provide study materials books stationery to the poor people studying in the government schools.
We also provide ration/foods to the cancer patients in Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital every Friday. Similarly in Rani Jhalkari Bai Hospital, we distribute hygiene kits, fruits to the newly born babies and their mothers and we make them aware of its benefits and disadvantages.
Ek Koshish Aisi Bhi organizes blood donation camp at least 2-3 times a year. To make our environment better we also organize plantation drives 2-3 times every year. Our NGO provides small employment to the unemployed and poor to youths and people indulged in begging to make them self dependent.
Ek Koshish Aisi Bhi is also working for the rehabilitation of mentally retarded women, rehabilitate them in shelter homes and look after them on regular basis and provide the necessary medicines, etc. We also help the stray/injured animals, rescue them, provide medical aid, etc.
WS: What inspired you to choose this line of work wherein you are ferrying bodies of deceased COVID-19 patients to the crematorium for free.
VV: Work is worship for me. I feel the same satisfaction while helping strangers or needy as achieved by a priest while worshipping in the temple.
Sometime back I lost my childhood friend due to COVID in Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Lucknow. I WAS TRAVELLING FOR HOURS TO GET A MORTUARY VAN FOR HER CREMATION AND THE VAN DRIVERS WERE ASKING EXORBITANT MONEY BEYOND THE REACH OF A COMMON MAN. THEN I DECIDED I HAVE TO DO SOMETHING SO THAT NO ONE ELSE WILL FACE THE SAME PROBLEM AS I DID.
From the next day, I hired a van and started ferrying the bodies of COVID patients who lost their struggle to this PANDEMIC to the cremation ground free of cost. Since the number of deaths was increasing day by day so I had to hire three more vehicles to fulfill the requirement.
And we are providing this service free of cost continuously to anyone who lost their family member. We are also running an ambulance Service free of cost for the COVID patients with oxygen support. We know that our jobs are very risky, but I believe that to save much life someone needs to sacrifice.
WS: You are an author, a national-level judo player, a multi-faceted personality. How is your family supporting you in the noble cause?
VV: If I am here it’s only because of my family. They have supported me emotionally, financially, and physically. I do believe that you can’t be successful without family support. I am an author too.
Whenever I write something I share it with my family and their opinion helps me improve on my writing. Being a sports person I am very disciplined. Since my childhood and I can’t tolerate the indiscipline of anyone at the same time I try to keep alive the child within me and try to keep the atmosphere lively and happy.
WS: Being a Woman, did you faced any issues in doing such noble work?
VV:This is a very good question I do believe that the Women working in different fields in our society or are even in their homes are facing a lot of challenges. The field I have chosen is pathbreaking and taboo in our society.
I have gone against all odds to do what I believe in, and gradually I can change the perspective of society which excludes women for since long.
WS: You have been recently felicitated by the Mayor of Lucknow for your impressive humanitarian work? Tell us about this pls.
VV: it’s a matter of great pride to be facilitated by Mrs. Sanyukta Bhatia, the First lady of Lucknow and Mayor, who herself is a reputed woman and earned so much by her noble work.
She gave me the title “Daughter of Lucknow” and I felt so honoured. She was following my social work for quite some time and appreciated me regularly.
WS: Has this affected your life and when you are back home with your husband and your daughter after a day’s work?
VV: I will not lie that my service doesn’t affect my personal life and family. But nowadays, personal egos are ruining relationships and families are disintegrating. Many families have been devastated and with this Corona fear close relatives or siblings are not participating in the Cremation of their loved ones. It is affecting people emotionally and psychologically more than physically.
I have my own family, my daughter and whenever When I return home after doing my work there is always a fear, concern in my mind about the safety of them but somehow I have to admit that if you want to save so many lives you have to risk your own life.
Thanks to all support that my husband and my daughter extend to my work, this has made me more strong and made me confident so that I can carry out my work fearlessly.
WS: Any incident which you like to share which has impacted your life?
VV: My sister Neetu Verma, who was merely one year younger than me. We both were known as twins right from our childhood. We were inseparable. But God has something else planned for us. She met with a road accident and I lost her. But I regret not participating in her cremation.
As in our Hindu Culture, women are not allowed to go far last rites. I wanted to break this jinx as I don’t understand this logic that you are not allowed to be with your loved ones during the last moments to whom you love the most. This incident inspired me to participate in the funeral of the destitute at a later stage.
WS: Any message to our readers?
VV: I would like to extend my thanks to Aparna ji, Founder of Women Shine from the bottom of my heart for recognising and appreciating my work.
I would like to request all the readers that sometimes in your life you come across someone who needs help. So please don’t hesitate, come forward and extend your help which is needed and bring a smile to that face.
We should inculcate the habit of helping the needy ones. Our small token of help will change the lives of others.
If anyone wants to extend some support to Ms. Versha Verma, you can contact her directly at +91-8318-193-805