The image of an 11-year-old boy weeping and mourning his father’s death recently compelled Indians to band together and raise money for him and his family.
The sight was captured by Shiv Sunny, a journalist of the Hindustan Times. He took to Twitter last Sept. 16 to share the photo of the boy crying beside his father’s body inside a crematorium.
“The boy walked up to his father’s body at a crematorium, moved the sheet from the face, held the cheeks with both hands, just said ‘Papa’ & began sobbing,” wrote Sunny.
“The man was yet another poor laborer who died in a Delhi sewer on Friday. Family did not have money even for cremating him.”
The boy walked up to his father's body at a crematorium, moved the sheet from the face, held the cheeks with both hands, just said 'papa' & began sobbing.
The man was yet another poor labourer who died in a Delhi sewer on Friday. Family did not have money even for cremating him. pic.twitter.com/4nOWD9Aial
— Shiv Sunny (@shivsunny) September 17, 2018
The father, named Anil, was a sewer worker and only 27-years-old when he perished after the rope lowering him in a sewer snapped. As per BBC on Sept. 18, Anil leaves behind his 11-year-old son, and two more daughters, aged 7 and 3. It was reported too that his 4-month-old son died just last week from pneumonia because Anil didn’t have enough money to buy medicine.
“I am a crime reporter and I have seen a lot of tragedy. But this was something I had never seen,” Sunny was quoted as saying. “I just wanted to draw attention to the deaths of sewer workers. It told the story of the family’s plight.”
As Sunny’s photograph made the rounds on social media, many Indians were heartbroken and moved to help the boy and his family. The response was overwhelming, as Indians raised more than 3 million rupees (around $43,000) in just 24 hours, BBC reports.
Yashwant Deshmukh, journalist of The Huffington Post India, took to Twitter last Sept. 17 to report about the amount of support given to Anil’s family.
“It just takes all of us to make small contributions to make a big change together,” wrote Deshmukh on Twitter.
“We can’t bring back the father of that child, but the last 24 hours have contributed way more than our target of 24 lakhs, which would ensure the education and well being of that kid and family.”
It just takes all of us to make small contributions to make a big change together. We can’t bring back the father of that child, but the last 24 hours have contributed way more than our target of 24 lakhs, which would ensure the education and well-being of that Kid and family. pic.twitter.com/ZwHEyEhqhw
— Yashwant Deshmukh 🇮🇳 (@YRDeshmukh) September 18, 2018
Sunny echoed Deshmukh’s sentiments, as he stated that Anil’s kids would now be able to attend school, thanks to the money that was raised. He said, “With people offering to help, [they] may have a future now.” Cody Cepeda/JB