Giving COVID Dead a Dignified adieu
Feature Articles

Giving COVID Dead a Dignified adieu

April 25, 2021

The number of diagnosed cases of COVID-19 and deaths from infection in Mysuru have been increasing rapidly every day. Over the last 13 months, ever since the pandemic began, a total of 1,144 persons have succumbed to COVID-19 so far. 

Amidst reports of unimaginable suffering, it is disturbing to see how the pandemic has taken away the possibility of giving the dear departed ones a proper funeral. Reports of family members unable to attend the last rites of their deceased kin owing to quarantine, fear of getting infected and social distancing protocols have been heart-rending.

Emerging as a silver line amidst dark clouds, here is a story of a man who provides bamboo bier (called chatta in Kannada) to carry dead bodies of COVID-19 victims to crematorium. Ever since the outbreak last year, Guruprasad has been diligently preparing and supplying the much-needed bamboo stretchers. Guruprasad, a resident of Medarakeri near Nanjumalige, has been involved in bamboo-cutting and shaping profession.  Hailing from a family that has been selling bamboo products from the last 40 years, Guruprasad has supplied nearly 1,200 bamboo biers since Coronavirus outbreak in March last year. For tying a bier, bamboo sticks are used to make strips. 

The bamboo has to be cut into two pieces to approximately seven feet in length and place them horizontally on the ground. Later keeping a space of one-and-a-half-feet between them, the two-and-a-half-feet bamboo strips have to be firmly tied to them leaving equal space so that the dead body stays on the bier firmly. It is ensured that there are no loose ends. 

READ ALSO  DC expresses concern over Corona positive cases from rural areas

Speaking to Star of Mysore, Guruprasad said, “Unfortunately, once again during this second wave, the demand for biers is increasing day-by-day. I have provided nearly 150 bamboo biers this month alone.”


The last rites of COVID patients are being conducted only at Vijayanagar crematorium, also known as Mukthidhama. Now, on an average ten such cremations are being conducted every day. 

After the dead body is placed on bamboo bier, it is brought to crematorium where only a few relatives of the dead wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are allowed to perform rituals. Later, the body is cremated by the crematorium staff as per COVID norms.

“This is not a business for me. I am just helping those who are in need. For the first time in 40 years, I am seeing so much demand for this article, which is used only when someone is dead. I feel very sorry that I am witnessing considerable demand nowadays. Rich or poor, everybody needs to learn a lesson from this pandemic — Wear masks and maintain social distancing without fail,” Guruprasad said.

Apart from Guruprasad, other bamboo workers are also involved in preparing bamboo stretchers at Medarakeri near Nanjumalige Circle.

1,221 cremations in one year at Mukthidhama

Mysuru City Corporation’s Births and Deaths Statistical Officer Anil Christy, who has been working as Nodal Officer for handling COVID-19 cases at Mukthidhama, is all praise for Guruprasad.

 “Over the last one year, Guruprasad has been supplying bamboo biers to the MCC. Most importantly, he is ready to provide his services even in the middle of the night. We should be thankful to him,” he said. 

At Mukthidhama, there are two electric and one gas crematorium. It would take nearly 45 minutes to burn a body. “Unfortunately, the whole country is witnessing the second wave now and the number of deaths is increasing. Over the last one year, I have cremated nearly 1,221 bodies at Mukthidhama. This is a grim situation but I am thankful to God for providing the opportunity to serve those who are dead in a meaningful manner,” he said.


Mysuru’s favorite and largest circulated English evening daily has kept the citizens of Mysuru informed and entertained since 1978. Over the past 41 years, Star of Mysore has been the newspaper that Mysureans reach for every evening to know about the happenings in Mysuru city. The newspaper has feature rich articles and dedicated pages targeted at readers across the demographic spectrum of Mysuru city. With a readership of over 2,50,000 Star of Mysore has been the best connection between it’s readers and their leaders; between advertisers and customers; between Mysuru and Mysureans.


Academy News Papers Private Limited, Publishers, Star of Mysore & Mysuru Mithra, 15-C, Industrial ‘A’ Layout, Bannimantap, Mysuru-570015. Phone no. – 0821 249 6520

To advertise on Star of Mysore, email us at

Online Edition: [email protected]
Print Editon: [email protected]
For News/Press Release: [email protected]