Harish Kapoor, the name doesn’t ring a bell but he is a man with a mission. Kapoor’s mission is to provide some succor to those who are away at the time of their loved one’s demise. Harish Kapoor lives in Lucknow and provides specially designed ‘Air-conditioned Coffins’ in which a dead body can be kept for up to four days. The idea behind AC Coffin is to keep a dead body preserved for a few days so that the near and dear who live in faraway places, could have last glimpses. Kapoor, a businessman, started this service in the year 2014 which is absolutely free of charge. Deepali Agrahari of the2is talked to Harish Kapoor about his mission:
What inspired you to start this service?
Many times I witnessed, people carrying the dead bodies of their loved ones either by auto rickshaw or cycle rickshaw. I could feel the pain of these people and thus I decided to start this AC Coffin service so that people do not encounter such painful experiences.
What are the special features of this coffin?
The coffin is made of glass and an air-conditioner is fixed in it. I personally take the coffin at the deceased’s place. The dead body can be kept in the coffin for up to four days.
Do you get support from your family?
I am fortunate enough to have full support from my family. My family values this service and appreciates me. However, my wife often complains about me being too busy in my business and social service.
Do you have any support staff?
I have a team of 5 people that includes driver and four assistants. I have a pickup van for transporting the coffin. If needed, my team helps in putting the body into the box.
How people in the society reacts to this service?
People have been very supportive so far. I have been offered donations in the form of similar coffins or through cash. But I always refuse such proposals. I simply ask people to spare some time and accompany me to see the whole process and But, unfortunately, o one has come forward till now. My service is for everyone and anyone irrespective of religion and caste.
What are the difficulties you often face while providing this service?
Right now I have only three boxes with me. When I receive more than 3 calls in a day, I find myself helpless as my resources are limited.