A YOUNG man who died of tuberculosis became the focus of a community campaign to send his body back to his family in India.

Ravinder Kumar, 27, a student from India, died in Wexham Park Hospital on Thursday, July 20. He had no family in the UK to arrange the return of his body, and his parents in India lacked the funds to arrange transportation.

Mohammed Farooq, of Farnham Road, campaigned to repatriate Mr Kumar’s body back to India, even though he barely knew him and did not even know his name when he heard of his death.

Mr Farooq said: “I only met him three or four times. All I knew was that he was here on a student visa. When I heard that he had died, I thought that he would have friends and family to help out with costs – but when I heard he had no one in the UK, I thought ‘this isn’t fair’. I got in contact with with local government, with local temples, saying ‘we should help this guy’.”

He contacted Cllr Madhuri Bedi, who worked with him to gain the help of Slough Hindu Temple.

Cllr Bedi said: “He had called the parents in India who were obviously distraught, the one thing they kept saying is “please send our boy home’.”

The generosity of Slough Hindu Temple proved to be a turning point. After being notified of the situation by Cllr Bedi and Mr Farooq, numerous calls and donations began flooding in and worshippers at Slough Hindu Temple set up a donation box.

Cllr Bedi said: “Mr Farooq had done his own collection through his family and friends, and there then there were other members of the community who collected large sums – one gentleman who had taken it upon himself to do this was from Ilford.

“I truly was humbled by the generosity of so many. All this was happening for a young man none of the donors knew. This mission was started by a caring Muslim man for a Hindu boy. We often hear of the worst in people, but I saw the best come together.”

The community raised £9,500, which the Temple Committee topped up to a total of £10,000 from their own funds.

Mr Kumar’s body was returned to India on Friday of last week, and cremated the following day by his family.

Mr Farooq said: “After this man’s death, people of all different religions, nationalities, and creeds united together and worked for a single cause. This should be encouraged, because we are all one.”