Monday April 23, 2018

Eco-Friendly cremation is Easy to Handle but Difficult to Sell in India

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Funeral pyre (Source Wikimedia: Commons)
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  • A traditional pyre requires around 600 kgs of wood and will burn for five to six hours
  • Eco-friendly pyre requires only 150 to 200 kilogram of wood and will last only for two to three hours
  • Study shows that around 60 million trees are cut every year for cremation purpose

Indian is a land of festivals, culture and rituals. Rituals are sequence of activities one performs during a particular event be it wedding, birth or death. But some rituals may harm environment. Rituals of death are one of them. But there is now a method to reduce pollution, Eco-Friendly Cremation.

Traditional funeral pyre. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Process of cremation is thousand year old. When a body wrapped in white cloth on ladder carried by four people is cremated traditionally, emits toxic materials with pollution that can easily harm environment. But now that can be avoided by using eco-friendly pyres.

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Traditional system of cremation includes logs of wood which turns into deforestation. There are about 400 cremation ground in Delhi and each works in a traditional way. Around 7 million Hindus die every year. Study shows that around 60 million trees are cut every year for cremation purpose. A traditional pyre requires around 600 kilogram of wood and will burn for five to six hours.

Interior of Crematoria . Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Vinod Kumar Agarwal, the head of Mokshda Green Cremation System in Delhi recently devised a pyre that is Eco-friendly and that can reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by 60 percent. There are only 42 pyres all over the country and Agrawal is planning to make them 50 by end of the year. This Eco-friendly pyre requires only 150 to 200 kilogram of wood and will last only for two to three hours. Moreover, it is affordable, saving time and energy saving.

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Even after so many benefits, Agrawal found it difficult to sell this idea to Indian masses. According to Mokshda worker, he cremates only 7 bodies per day while the other using traditional method creates a more than twice number of bodies as he does.

Crematoria in Kolkata. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

This is because around 80% of population in India is Hindu. According to Hindu sacred text, any soul cannot attain Moksha without Agni. This is the utmost reason that urges people to use traditional pyres. Moreover, this practice is prevalent for years, so it is not easy for anyone to give up so easily.

But people are getting more and more conscious towards the environment and are moving towards the use of eco-friendly crematoriums.

-prepared by Aparna Gupta, an intern with NewsGram. Twitter @writetoaparna99

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  • Pashchiema Bhatia

    Now when we are aware of the practices which might be a threat to the environment, we must take the initiative to find an alternative.

  • AJ Krish

    Instead of following our religion blindly, we should look at issues from a broad perspective. If the environment can be saved and resources be conserved, why not utilize this method?

  • devika todi

    when the world will be polluted and it will be choking us to death, where will our rituals take us? instead of being stubborn about it, if we can think of the general good of the future, it will be better for all of us.

  • Pashchiema Bhatia

    Now when we are aware of the practices which might be a threat to the environment, we must take the initiative to find an alternative.

  • AJ Krish

    Instead of following our religion blindly, we should look at issues from a broad perspective. If the environment can be saved and resources be conserved, why not utilize this method?

  • devika todi

    when the world will be polluted and it will be choking us to death, where will our rituals take us? instead of being stubborn about it, if we can think of the general good of the future, it will be better for all of us.

Next Story

Big reforms Led to India becoming the fastest growing major Economy globally: Garg

It also has enormous implications for emerging markets and developing countries

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The RBI building in Mumbai.
The RBI building in Mumbai. Photo credit: AFP/Sajjad Hussain

The major reforms undertaken by the Indian government for raising economic growth and maintaining macroeconomic stability have made the country one of the fastest growing major economies in the world, said Subhash Chandra Garg, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs (DEA).

Garg was addressing the Special Event hosted by US-India Strategic Partnership Forum on ‘Indian Economy: Prospect and Challenges’ in Washington D.C on Friday.

Indian economy needs more reforms.
Indian economy needs more reforms.

He said the launch of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) represented an “historic economic and political achievement, unprecedented in Indian tax and economic reforms, which has rekindled optimism on structural reforms.” He further emphasized that India carried-out such major reforms when the global economy was slow.

“With the cyclical recovery in global growth amid supportive monetary conditions and the transient impact of the major structural reforms over, India will continue to perform robustly,” Garg said.

During his meetings, Garg highlighted that the digital age technologies have profound implications for policies concerning every aspects of the economy. It also has enormous implications for emerging markets and developing countries.

Also Read: Biggest Bank Frauds Which Shook The Indian Economy

He expressed that the response to such a transformation will have to shift from ‘catch up’ growth to adoption/adaption of digital technologies for development and growth.

Garg also informed that India has started adopting policies and programmes for transforming systems of delivery of services using digital technologies and connecting every Indian with digital technologies and access through Aadhaar and other such means.

Indian economy should be on rise.
Indian economy should be on rise. Image: Mapsofindia

While citing the example of expanding mobile data access, he mentioned that India is now the largest consumer of mobile data in the world with 11 gigabytes mobile data consumption per month. He informed that India is investing in digital technologies, encouraging private sector to adapt these technologies and also addressing the taxation related issues by introducing equalisation levy.

Garg is currently on an official tour to Washington D.C. to attend the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank and other associated meetings. He is accompanied by Urjit Patel, Governor, Reserve Bank of India and other senior officials. IANS