Ashraf Thamarassery, an Indian expat-cum-social worker helped repatriate the mortal remains of late Bollywood actress Sridevi to India.
The 44-year-old businessman has become a ferryman of sorts for those who die in UAE. Till date, he has assisted in repatriation of 4700 bodies across various countries. A native of Kozhikode in north Kerala, Ashraf facilitates the time-consuming process of obtaining all the necessary clearances.
Sridevi’s husband Boney Kapoor’s relative Saurabh Malhotra was handling the repatriation of the body but he was not aware of the legal procedures of the same.
So Ashraf along with his colleagues, Nasar Vadanappalli and Nasar Nanthi, agreed to take care of completing the formalities at embalming centre. It’s not only the body of the famed bollywood star, Ashraf helped repatriate, the 44-year-old also assisted in sending five other bodies back home.
“For them, you or me, it’s all the same and everyone is equal. If someone dies in their room, they will take them to the hospital and then to be checked at the police mortuary,” Thamarassery told Associated Press.
Embalming is mandatory in the UAE if the body is not to be buried or cremated in that country. It is at the embalming centre where friends, relatives and colleagues gather to pay their last respects before a body is taken to the airport.
“Since I’m familiar with the routine, it wasn’t much of a trouble. But it took three days for the procedures to be completed since the matter was pending with the Dubai public prosecution,” Ashraf told The Telegraph
The 54-year-old Sridevi passed away on 24 February in Dubai where she had gone to attend a wedding. Police and prosecutors say she died due to accidental drowing after she losing consciousness in the bathroom.