A HARROWING photo of a little boy crying next to the body of his father led to thousands being raised in just one day from kind Indian social media users.
More than three million rupees (7,000) was donated to the grieving family after the tragic picture was shared more than 8000 times on Twitter.
It shows an 11-year-old boy weeping as he places a hand on his father’s lifeless face in a crematorium.
Anil, 37, was a sewer cleaner based in Delhi who fell to his death in a 6m-deep sewer when a “weak” rope lowering him snapped.
The father-of-three was killed in the accident just six days after his four-month-old child died from pneumonia.
The painful picture was put on Twitter by Shiv Sunny, a reporter for The Hindustan Times.
The boy walked up to his father’s body at a crematorium, moved the sheet from the face, held the cheeks with both hands, just said ‘papa’ & began sobbing.
The man was yet another poor labourer who died in a Delhi sewer on Friday. Family did not have money even for cremating him. pic.twitter.com/4nOWD9Aial— Shiv Sunny (@shivsunny)
He said that the family couldn’t even afford to pay for the cremation and had instead been forced to rely on help from neighbours.
Mr Sunny’s caption on the post read: “The boy walked up to his father’s body at a crematorium, moved the sheet from the face, held the cheeks with both hands, just said ‘papa’ & began sobbing.
“The man was yet another poor labourer who died in a Delhi sewer on Friday.
“Family did not have money even for cremating him.”
A massive response to the story led to a fundraiser for the family, which has now raised more than 7,000 after 1969 people made donations.
Mr Sunny told the BBC that he was “shocked” by the sight of the sobbing boy.
He said: “I am a crime reporter and I have seen a lot of tragedy.
“But this was something I had never seen.”
The photograph was taken just minutes before Anil was cremated.
The inspiring online outpouring of sympathy with the grieving family led Mr Sunny to look more into their story.
He heard how the boy in the picture would sometimes accompany his dad to work to guard his clothes from thieves while he worked in the sewers.
Around 100 sewer workers die in India every year according to some estimates, with Anil being the second death involving sewer workers in Delhi this month alone.
Anil is survived by his wife Rani and their three children aged 11, seven and three.
The Uday foundation, a non-governmental organisation, created the incredibly successful fundraiser on the crowd-funding platform Ketto.
Its appeal page reads: “The funds shall be utilised for the education & well-being of the children and dignified life of the family.”