Gujarat: In mourning, the model village ensures social distancing

PALANPUR: In normal times, death in the town would have been a massive duel with all the residents joining together. But Punsari, who has won national praise for being a tech savvy model town, gave another example on Sunday by following the closing rules even in mourning.

A 24-year-old woman, Sonal Rawad, died after suffering a heart attack while working in the fields. But the young sarpanch Himanshu Patel did not give in to emotions and made sure that only six people performed their last rites. Two of these people were police officers, who carried the woman's coffin, along with her husband, to the crematorium.

Speaking to TOI, Patel said: “Rawad suffered acute chest pain, but before he could get medical help, he collapsed from the massive heart attack and died. The doctor who was called on the spot declared her dead.

However, unlike such situations in normal times when mourning turns into a social gathering, the village chief only allowed six people, including her husband Rahul (27) and three others.

We were in shock. But we also had to strictly observe the blocking rules. Therefore, we decided not to allow more than six people to participate in the last rites. Along with the husband of the late Rahul Rawad (27), three other relatives and two policemen from the village police station joined the procession and performed the last rites, strictly observing the rules of social distancing, Patel said.