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Chandigarh: Kids’ lockers double up as ash urns for dead

Secretary sports department K K Yadav told The Indian Express that as many as 36 of them have been got from Sector 23 sports complex.

Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh | Published: April 22, 2020 4:10:49 am
India lockdow, coronavirus deaths, Children lockers, ash urns, cremation grounds, Chandigarh news, indian express news New lockers installed to keep the ashes at the Cremation Ground in Sector 25, Chandigarh. (Photo: Jasbir Malhi)

Kids’ lockers have doubled up as ash urns of the dead that are piling up at cremation grounds in Chandigarh. Children lockers in sports complexes that were meant to keep their belongings have now been used in cremation ground to keep ashes.

Secretary sports department K K Yadav told The Indian Express that as many as 36 of them have been got from Sector 23 sports complex.

“We are identifying other sports complexes as well from where lockers are being brought. As sports complexes are shut down at the moment and children are not coming, we thought of using the lockers here. They will be used only till the lockdown and once it is over, they will be placed back at their respective places,” said Yadav.

Ashes of around 150 people have piled up at the Sector 25 cremation ground as told by the pandit who is the incharge. Similar is the state at Manimajra cremation ground.

“As ashes of many people had started piling up and there were chances of getting mixed up, the decision to bring lockers was taken. Key of each locker that is now the ash urn has been given to the kin of the person who died,” a caretaker said.

Once the lockdown is over and the ashes are immersed, the lockers will be sanitised and cleaned properly.

A senior officer did make efforts if entry could be allowed at Haridwar but the respective government refused.

As the borders of states are sealed, those who lose their family members are not able to visit Haridwar to immerse the ashes. Therefore, the same was kept at the cremation ground itself but there was an apprehension of damage due to the weather.

“Lockers help in keeping the ashes safe. It is something that one is emotionally attached. And keeping them outside or near the tree in pots wasn’t safe because weather had become stormy. It was also accompanied by heavy rain. The pots were initially kept near the peepal tree,” the caretaker added.

Ashes of around 100 people have piled up at the Manimajra cremation ground. Now lockers have been sent there as well.

Chandigarh Deputy Commissioner Mandip Singh Brar said that eight lockers with a provision for 64 compartments have also been sent from Red Cross sarais to the cremation grounds.

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