A photograph of a boy weeping next to his father’s dead body circulating on social media in India moved the people to raise more than three million Indian rupees ($43,829) for his family in a day.
The picture was retweeted on Twitter more than 7,900 times.
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
27-years-old Anil was a sewer worker in the capital city Delhi, who died when the rope lowering him into a sewer snapped, causing him to fall inside and die eventually.
Shiv Sunny who is a reporter at The Hindustan Times posted this picture on his Twitter account on Monday. He covers crime beat.
“I have seen a lot of tragedy. But this was something I had never seen.”, he said.
He took this picture minutes before the deceased was cremated. In this picture, the 11 years old son of the sewer worker could be seen standing and crying near his father’s dead body.
Sunny says that by that picture he just wanted to draw attention to the deaths of sewer workers.
“It [the photo] told the story of the family’s troubles.” He mentioned.
According to him, the family was so poor that they could not even afford the cremation costs for which they got help from their neighbors.
Anil’s four-month-old son had died of pneumonia a week ago because the poor man had no money to buy him medicine.
Mr. Sunny’s tweet drew attention to the Uday Foundation, a non-governmental organization that decided to come forward and help Anil’s family. They took help of a crowdfunding platform called Ketto and asked for funds for the sewer worker’s family.
And the response was incredible.
From poor people to the big Bollywood stars came forward to help the family.
Mr. Sunny went back to the family to know more about them. The 11 years old boy told him that he would sometimes go along with his father to work. His main duty would be to wait outside to guard his father’s clothes and shoes from thieves.
Mr Sunny showed hope that Anil’s children will be able go to school with the money that has been raised.
By sharing the picture of that boy crying next to his father’s body, I was only doing my job as a reporter.
But I am overwhelmed by the goodness of people. Via @ketto alone, they contributed nearly ₹27 lakh for the family.
I now hope the kids will eat better & have a future.
— Shiv Sunny (@shivsunny) September 18, 2018
According to estimates, around 100 sewer workers die in India every year. The unions working for their safety and rights have alleged that this is because they are not given proper safety equipment.