Padam Shri Mohammad Shareef of Ayodhya, who became famous for his act of giving decent burial and cremation to some 5,000 unclaimed bodies in UP, has taken ill and his family has shifted him to Lucknow for treatment.
Mohammad Shareef commonly known as Shareef Chacha received the Padma Shri award last year for his feat of performing the last rites of unclaimed corpses. He is recognized as the messiah of unclaimed corpses.
His family said his conditions worsened on Sunday and doctors recommended he be shifted to Lucknow.
He was given the top civilian honour for performing the last rites of more than 5000 unclaimed bodies by that time.
Sharieef Chaha had taken to this charity after his son had died and his body remained unclaimed for days in 1993. He took a pledge that no dead body would remain unclaimed and without a decent send-off.
He has so far done cremation of 3000 Hindus and more given a proper burial to more than 2,000 Muslims.
It was 28 years ago that his son was killed by some unidentified persons in Sultanpur. No one performed his last rites as he remained unclaimed and unidentified. That time Chacha, who owned a bicycle tire puncher fixing shop, decided henceforth he will not let any dead person go without a decent send-off.
Mohammad Shareef never received any official help. He raises money for performing the last rites of the dead. He is hugely respected by people.
During the Padma Shri award ceremony, Mohammad Sharif met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind.
He had asked for help from the Prime Minister for carrying on his mission and buying a house for his family and he had reportedly received a positive response to his request.