Commit to build a COVID Memorial to remember and accord dignity to all lives lost in India

Commit to build a COVID Memorial to remember and accord dignity to all lives lost in India

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We The People of India started this petition to Shri Hardeep Singh Puri (Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs) and

Goals of the petition campaign:

  1. Request GoI to commit to a Covid memorial that registers each and every name of the deceased for posterity, to offer them and their families dignity in death.
  2. Request GoI to publish an online public record of lives lost during Covid pandemic without personal identifiers, for everyone to play a collective role in the healing process, a truth and reconciliation process that taps into the collective wisdom of our entire society. 

A. Why do this? 

We have all watched in helplessness as ~300,000 Indians have lost their families and loved ones to the COVID-19 pandemic. As names have become invisible and just statistics to tell us about the horrors that have bestowed on India, we are becoming numb to the tragedy around us. In many cases, families have not had an opportunity to get a glimpse of their loved ones and say their goodbyes with love and dignity. There is tremendous unexpressed grief within us now. The thousands of unreported deaths will also become invisible numbers and we will forget the humans and their stories that lived behind each of those numbers. It is important that we as a country never forget the ones we lost and that future generations remember with dignity, grace and love the ones we lost. It is important that we, as a country, accord dignity to the ones we have lost by remembering them by their names and to give their families an opportunity to grieve the loss of their loved ones. It is imperative that all energies at this point be diverted to saving those who can be saved. At the same time, beginning this record concomitantly is a way to ensure that none of those who have passed away are forgotten before our commitment to 'never forget' is numbed. 

B. What is our petition for?

Our invitation is that we create and maintain an online record of each of the lives we have lost – their name, age, gender and location. Even the ones that we have lost during this time but maybe not to the virus. In maintaining this record, we will ensure that each one is remembered with dignity, love and prayer. A record without omission, a record to remember the lives we lost, to remember this time in history that hopefully helped us reimagine our future on this planet and in relation to each other and a record to celebrate the lives that each of these humans lived with dignity. 

Our invitation is that this accurate record then be converted into a living, breathing memorial where the families, loved ones and all of us can pay our respects, remember each of them and remember this tragic time for eternity. It will be a space that will also hold us, as a fraternity, accountable and remind us to never let this happen again. Every citizen is equal and every life lost deserves restorative justice and healing for their families.

C. Has this been done in the past?

Memorials of this kind, have helped societies heal from historical tragedies by commiserating those who lost their lives and presenting a solemn record for posterity to reflect on the events that led to this tragedy. Smithsonian American History, WWI Memorial, Florence Nightingale museum are a few examples of museums that have preserved historical artefacts from the Influenza pandemic 100 years ago. Similarly, Partition museums in Amritsar (2017) and Delhi (2021) are examples from our tragic past that house oral histories apart from material artefacts. 

D. Final request

Our request to the Government of India is to put together a team that will start to create this comprehensive and accurate record and to make a commitment to a memorial in remembrance of every life that was lost through this pandemic. This memorial will serve as a reminder for posterity, on public systems we need to build to protect every Indian in the future. 

Please help us take this message to the Government of India by signing/sharing this petition and request them to make this commitment to the citizens of India, as a reaffirmation of our constitutional values of equality, fraternity and justice . 

We, the citizens of India.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 15,000!
At 15,000 signatures, this petition becomes one of the top signed on!