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The ghastly and horrible visuals of dead bodies of persons who may have succumbed to Covid currently surging in the country, floating in the Holy Ganga seen in the states of U.P. and Bihar have sent alarm bells ringing in the minds of compassionate Indians. We need to show empathy and provide dignified cremation or burial to our country men who lost their lives. 

It has stirred our conscious that as great Indians boasting of our rich cultural heritage and compassion have come to this situation where we are unable to give dignified farewell to our own brothers and sisters while providing them enough wood and other required items for cremation or burial. The cremation ritual as per Indian tradition is becoming very expensive and as per reports cost around Rs.20,000/- plus and for a poor poverty stricken citizens are unable to arrange resources to bid final farewell to their loved ones. 

According to media reports and pictures appearing 0n the TV News channels where the locals have dump their bodies in the rivers where cremation sites were not available or they could not afford the expensive rituals for cremation. Our international image is already dented due to the reports of uncontrolled pandemic and now the ghastly seens of dead bodies floating have further impacted our creditability as a nation who had not been able to give decent and dignified last rites to our loved ones who lost their lives. 

A large number of philanthropists, Corporate houses can provide CSR funds and other NGO’s have proposed that they can come together to donate to set up Electric or LPG run Crematoriums in U.P. and Bihar so that the poor can organized the last rites of their relatives with dignity and have the solace to provide proper farewell to the people who passed away. 

Another important point which needs urgent attention is that as per the Hindu rituals the dead bodies is cremated while using significant quantity of wood for which we need to cut more and more trees to provide this essential ingredient for cremation. The options of Electric and LPG run chambers are most suitable as it is not only cheap,  hustle free and fast. 

A group of our friends from corporate houses and other organizations have contributed more than Rs.50 lacs last year during the Covid-19 conditions providing 7000 food kits to the under priviledged and poor families besides providing medical essential items including PP Kits, Hand Sanitizers, N-95 and Surgical Masks, Gloves, Glasses and Thermal Thermameters to the Govt. Medical College, Civil Hospital, Mandi Board, Airports and other institutions.

At present we have arranged 25 Oxygen concentrates worth more than Rs.10 lakh and some more are in pipe lines to be given to the Charitable Hospitals and others who required immediate help to overcome Covid disease.

Rice Exporters Association where I am a Director has decided to contribute for the free vaccination for our workers and staff working in our factories. We would start the Vaccination project as soon the Government makes available the required quantities of vaccination vials.

About the author:
Ashok Sethi

Ashok Sethi Ashok Sethi, comes from a family of journalists and he himself worked with The Tribune, region’s popular English daily, for two decades. He has many stories of national and international relevance to his credit. He is currently a director with the rice exporters association and is also involved in philanthropy. Sethi is president of Amritsar blind institute, one of the oldest in the country and also associated with the Chinmaya mission.

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