April 30, 2021 3:41:54 am
As the number of cremations at the crematorium run by Keshod municipality in Junagadh district has seen a five-fold jump over the past few weeks, the Muslim community in Keshod has donated three tractor trolly-loads of firewood to the crematorium as a goodwill gesture and to pre-empt any shortage firewood in the crematorium.
According to Parthiv Parmar, chief office of Keshod municipality, the crematorium generally witnesses two cremations per day. “But for the past one month, eight to 10 cremations have been taking place at the crematorium,” Parmar told The Indian Express.
Keshod town has population of 76,000 as per the 2011 Census.
The chief officer said that besides residents of Keshod town, people of villages surrounding Keshod perform last rites at the crematorium run by the municipality. “But the flow from villages has decreased as due to Covid-19, villagers are preferring to perform last rites of their dear ones in their villages itself,” said Parmar.
With the sudden rise in the number of bodies coming for cremations, the Muslim Kabrastan committee in Keshod has donated firewood to the crematorium. “On behalf of the Muslim community, local journalist Harunsha Sarvadi contacted Keshod municipality employee Pankaj Meghnathi and offered to donate firewood for the crematorium. We accepted the offer with thanks, sent our men and machinery to the Kabrastan, loaded the firewood in three tractor trolleys and transported it to the crematorium,” the chief officer told The Indian Express on Thursday.
Parmar said the firewood was transported from the Muslim burial ground on the east bank of Utavaliya river to the crematorium on the western bank. “Our crematorium has one diesel-fired incinerator and four wooden pyres. We use the diesel furnace to perform last rites with Covid-19 protocol and wooden pyres for non-Covid bodies. It is not that the crematorium is short of firewood but the Muslim community offered their stock as a goodwill gesture and we accepted it,” the chief officer further said.
Sarvadi, also one of the members of the Muslim Kabrastan Committee of Keshod and a teacher with a private school, said, “We are aware crematoriums need more firewood these days and therefore, we offered the logs which were lying unused on our Kabrastan to the crematorium run by the municipality.”
Sarvadi added that the Kabranstan in Keshod is spread over around 40 bigha and the logs were lying unused for a long time after some trees were cut down from the Kabrastan to clear land for burials. “At the same time, we are planting trees and plants with medicinal values,” he said.
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