KATHMANDU: Sapana Roka Magar, who has been carrying out final rites of unclaimed bodies in the capital city, has been listed on this year’s BBC 100 Women.

The 18-year-old from Myagdi district has been doing an important work, one that is not just uncommon to a teenager, but hardly easy.

Photo Credit: The Rising Nepal

Magar has been actively involved in finding unclaimed bodies of the deceased and carrying out their last rites.

“There are homeless, abandoned people across the world. People who die on the streets deserve proper last rites. I do this job not as a social service but for my own peace of mind,” says Magar.

She has cremated more than 35 bodies and can often be seen at Pashupati Aryaghat gently managing the bodies and giving them the respect that is owed to them. She carries out the ritual — for people found on the streets and mortuaries — which is usually carried out by the deceased’s offspring.

“Sapana’s organisation retrieves the abandoned bodies from the street or mortuaries and arranges for them to be taken to hospital for post-mortem examinations. If the body remains unclaimed for 35 days, the organisation brings it to the crematorium,” reads BBC’s introduction of Magar.

Under the category, the British Broadcasting Corporation has included the “most inspiring and influential women of 2020 and how they’re making a difference in the world”.


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