Delayed repatriation of Rajeev’s body a shame to UK Malayalee community (EDITORIAL) – UKMALAYALEE

Delayed repatriation of Rajeev’s body a shame to UK Malayalee community (EDITORIAL)

Monday 25 March 2019 3:41 AM UTC


LONDON March 25: The body of Rajeev Thankappan, who was found dead in East Ham on March 2, 2019 has still not been repatriated. It has been nearly 25 days his body is still in the UK. The family with two young children, in Kerala, could be counting days on when their father’s body will be brought back home.

The bereaving family could be undergoing so much turmoil with questions being asked each and every day when they wake up on what’s happening.

This website doesn’t wish to blame anyone but aims to highlight the plight of the sorrowful family in Kerala. Many from the community to whom this website spoke have raised concern on the ways on the whole thing has been handled.

There is no doubt that those who have been working towards getting the body repatriated are doing their best. But why is it taking so long? As a community which has so much clout in various departments back in Kerala and in the Indian High Commission in London this should have been dealt with by this time.

However, it cannot be without saying that whenever we try to source the developments in regards to the repatriation of Rajeev’s body it appears that its done in patches by individuals without any continued coordination or follow ups. The urge or sense of urgency is not evident from whoever, this website spoke to.

The UK Malayalee community across the country has been wholeheartedly in the forefront in raising funds for the family which has come across as a blessing. However, the lack of coordination on the part of the community, in particular from East Ham, has been disappointing.

There has not been any other occasions where a delay has occurred due to slackness on the part of the community. The Malayalee community all over UK has been out-rightly engaged on such occasions and were proactive in having such things dealt with and bodies repatriated in a timely manner.

Questions to Malayalee Association of UK

Malayalee Association of the UK, a beacon bearer of the Malayalee community in London, should have been in the forefront and dealt with this incident. However, talking to one of the directors it appears that they are doing all what they can. As an organisation we sought their comment and a reply is awaited.

The community needs answers in regards to what actions does a Malayalee organisation take when there is a death of a Malayalee? Should the victim’s family approach the organisation or does a welfare officer get in touch with them?

Is there a budget allocated to work towards miscellaneous costs involved with volunteers trying to get things organised. Finally the community needs explanation on what lessons were learnt from this inaction so that such an incident wouldn’t happen in future.

Questions to Hindu organisations

A Hindu funeral typically takes place within one day and sometimes two days after the time of death if there is a close relative who has to arrive from abroad. Then there is this 16 days after the death, during which the immediate family follows Hindu mourning customs. They refrain from visiting the family shrine and are prohibited from entering a temple or any other sacred place. After this the family typically returns to work in three weeks, depending on personal preferences.

If going by Hindu customs, the funeral of Late Rajeev should have all happened by this time and the family would have returned to their life. If the Hindu organisations are the torch bearers of the Hindu culture and heritage in the UK then why was it not shown in this case where a Hindu was found dead.

Is it a case that they didn’t get involved as he was illegally here? What coordination have they done in regards to having the body repatriated? What is the protocol they would take in a case where a Hindu is in distress or found dead in this case?

There needs to be a thorough look into how such things need to be dealt with and in future no family back in Kerala should have to wait for such a long time if one of their dear ones has deceased.

Fund Collections

It is heartening to know that funds are raised by severla groups and organisations for the family which will come as a blessing to them from the UK Malayalee community. The UK Malayalee community did not wait for them to work out the legality of Rajeev being here. They acted under a humanitarian cause and all those who contributed showed their love and affection towards their fellow native.

However, it would be a shame if we delayed the repatriation of the body due to mismanagement and lack of coordination among those who should be in forefront as it may be me or you tomorrow. Hope lessons will be learnt from this and we become more coordinated than before.