May 29, 2021 3:18:44 am
CCTV cameras, a Wi-Fi connection, a meeting app, and a link sent to all participants.
This is not a set up for a Work From Home office meeting. From June 1, this is how a crematorium in Nanded city will conduct funerals to enable families and friends to bid farewell to their loved ones.
“We intend to start the free service before June 1. We do not know how long the lockdown will last and it’s difficult for people to travel during the lockdown. So, we came up with this idea, which will allow relatives get a last glimpse of their loved ones and help them get some closure,” said Harshad Shah (62), a businessman and vice-president of NGO Shantidham Seva Pratisthan, which is implementing this idea at Shantidham crematorium in Govardhan ghat, Vazirabad.
Last rites of both Covid-19 patients as well as others are performed at the crematorium.
“We will be using an app to connect with the people who want to see the last rites. Username and password will be provided to them,” Shah said.
With money from the NGO – which also assists people with free materials needed to conduct last rites, including wood – the crematorium has installed eight high quality CCTV cameras at a cost of Rs 55,000.
“These are high quality cameras and on zooming, the face of a person can be seen clearly,” said Shah.
With wiring for Internet connection being fixed, the crematorium will unveil the new service next week.
Gyanobarao Ganpati Phuke (71), a general store owner in the city, donated Rs 51,000 to the NGO in memory of his 104-year-old mother Venubai Phuke, who died last March before the pandemic began. Her grandson, Shrinivas (38), told The Indian Express, “We made this gesture, as it is important during this time… people are unable to travel due to the lockdown restrictions.”
The NGO has received three cold freezers from donors to help it preserve a body for two to three days in case the relatives of the deceased need time to travel to Nanded. “On an average, 10 to 12 funerals are performed in a day here. But the average had gone up in April during the second wave of Covid-19 and 28 bodies were cremated in one day last month,” said Shah.
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