Just we have seen the numbers of deaths of Bangladeshis in Britain had risen, so was the demand to raise funds for burial for those who passed away. For those who are less fortunate such as households in low income and with no recourse to public funds, they rely on donations from organisations that Yousuf Khan works for. Yousuf works as a funeral funds manager at 13 Rivers Trust, a charity that helps fund Muslim burial.
Covid has made raising funds for Muslim Bangladeshi communities crucial because if you have no savings, it's impossible to pay for burial costs.
‘So since last April, till now, we carried out around 125 burials for region... Most of them don't have a family, or they have partial family relatives or it would be with two young children, wife and the husband passed away. So the wife is not earning, they don't have money to bury. So this is why Muslim burial fund comes in to support as a charity.’
In order to spend the fund for such a cause is essential for a dignified way to die.
‘I had a call from an auntie, she's got my personal number from a funeral director. She called up and said: this person has passed away, he doesn't have no legal status in this country. And there is no close family. So we need support with with the burial. And their family from Bangladesh or requesting them to send their body over. Now with this covid is difficult. Plus, the process takes time. So she wants to bury in the UK and is looking for help. So the funeral directors referred her to come to Muslim burial fund. She's called us; we discussed how we can help this family.’
Yousuf goes on the say that:
‘there’s more people seeking funds due to the current crisis, because a lot of people lost their job due to lockdown. So there is more need for food bank for meals, household essentials. So yeah, definitely increasing the need is needed than before.’