Mumbai: Abandoned by US-based family, dead maths teacher laid to rest by good Samaritans

Oct 24, 2017, 08:30 IST | Anurag Kamble

Cops spend four months hunting for the America-settled kin of 67-year-old Washim resident who collapsed and died at KEM hospital; good Samaritan in Mumbai lays him to rest

A 67-year-old maths teacher from Washim, whose body had been lying in KEM hospital's mortuary for nearly four months after he died there of a massive heart attack, was buried yesterday at the cemetery of Our Lady of Fatima church in Sewri. While the body remained unclaimed, with the police unable to trace Ken Daniel Dsouza's kin in the US, the mortuary attendant has said that he got a call almost daily from an unidentified woman inquiring about the body's disposal. The police are trying to trace the woman.

NGO members carry out the burial of Ken Daniel Dsouza
NGO members carry out the burial of Ken Daniel Dsouza

Dsouza, who had gone to KEM hospital on June 22 after experiencing chest pain, was declared dead by doctors shortly after. The Bhoiwada police had found Rs 26,000 cash, a mobile phone and an Aadhaar card on him. They had filed an Accidental Death Report and started a probe to locate his kin.

Founder of Sadgati Foundation Kishor Bhatt lays to rest unclaimed dead bodies. Pic/Ashish Raje
Founder of Sadgati Foundation Kishor Bhatt lays to rest unclaimed dead bodies. Pic/Ashish Raje

Tricky trace
"The address on his Aadhaar card was of Karanja village in Washim district. We made inquiries at the police station and municipal council there but got no information. Then, through a source, we found out that he had been working at Shreeram Gunjate Vidyalaya," said sub-inspector Arjun Kadile.

The burial at the church in Sewri
The burial at the church in Sewri

"The school principal told us that Dsouza had come to Karanja two years ago in search of a job. He said he could teach maths, and so, the school employed him. He didn't have any place to stay, so he was given a room on the school premises."

In the first week of June, Dsouza had told his colleagues about experiencing frequent chest pain and wanting to go to Mumbai for a check-up. However, he'd collapsed on reaching KEM hospital, after suffering a massive heart attack, and was pronounced dead.

NGO Sadgati Foundation, which lays to rest unclaimed dead bodies, was then approached by the police. Its founder Kishor Bhatt said, "With the help of other members - Tarachand Solanki, Nitin Gawde and Vijay Mehta - he was laid to rest."

Searching for caller
With the Bhoiwada police station coming up empty-handed in tracing Dsouza's two sons, settled in the United States of America as per what he had told his colleagues, officers have now turned their attention to the woman who used to call up the mortuary attendant, identified as Ankush, almost daily to find out if his body had been disposed of. Officers are trying to trace the woman, who would refuse to identify herself.

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