New Delhi, Nov 8 (IANS) Jitender Singh Shunty, founder of the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Seva Dal who cremated thousands of bodies during the Covid-19 pandemic and was conferred the Padma Shri, said on Monday that the award is not only for him but for everyone who supported him in continuing his work even during the crisis.
Talking to IANS, Shunty said: "I am inspired by Bhagat Singh, who at the age of 23, kissed the hangman's noose for the country."
A two-time councilor from Jhilmil ward and an MLA from Shahdara, Shunty has been running the foundation since 25 years which provides free ambulance services for the poor.
"We have been serving the people for the past 25 years. But during the Corona period when no one was touching anyone, we helped Covid-19 positive people. My driver and children also supported me in the endeavour. One of my drivers also lost his life.
"Since the onset of the pandemic early last year, we have cremated over 4,000 bodies. Our ambulances rushed 19,000 people to hospitals. We also immersed the ashes of over 14,000 people
"With the honour being conferred on me, our morale has got a boost. This award is not just for me but for everyone who supported me.
"When it was announced on January 26 that I was also a recipient of the Padma Shri, the second wave kicked in just a few months later during which we doubled our work than in the first wave," he claimed.
On being asked by the public about carrying on with his social work even after getting the fourth highest civilian award, Shunty said that "the award is nothing in front of my passion".