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Anthyesti Funeral Services: NRIs can now book funeral services in Bengal online

A former techie, Shruti Reddy who belongs from Hyderabad and now lives in Kolkata, has started end-to-end funeral services providing agency about six months ago

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A Hindu cremation rite
A Hindu cremation rite, Image source: wikimedia Commons
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  • Anthyesti Funeral Services Private Ltd, has managed 60 cases mid-March and end-June
  • Shruthi Reddy’s start-up company provides funeral assistance at four mortuaries in Kolkata – Keoratala, Nimtala, Garia Adimahasmashan, and Ramakrishna Mahasmashan
  • The Funeral service company provides assistance to Bengalis, Arya Samajis, Biharis, Marwaris, Sindhis and Punjabis among Hindus

KOLKATA: If a near one dies while you are abroad, and there is no one you know who can help, Shruthi Reddy is there for you. A young women entrepreneur has taken an initiative to organize hassle-free and trustworthy funeral rites of their near and dear ones.

A former techie, Shruti Reddy who belongs from Hyderabad and now lives in Kolkata, has started end-to-end funeral services providing agency barely six months ago. Hindustan Times reported that her start-up , Anthyesti Funeral Services Private Ltd, has managed 60 cases mid-March and end-June. They provide online booking services as well.

From organizing body preservation to getting the hearse van and certified priests for Hindus and Sikhs, providing funeral helpers and conducting ‘shradh ceremony’- different packages are available for different communities.

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“There are many people living in Kolkata, especially non-Bengalis and the Bengali families whose close ones are NRIs, who have no one to help when they need to organize a funeral. we provide the entire service, from bringing the hearse van, completion of the cremation as well as ‘shradh‘ ceremony for deportation of bodies abroad when necessary,” Reddy explained what are the services provided, to Hindustan Times.

“As families are getting smaller, more people are in need of help for organizing funeral rites of their close ones. We maintain links to the police, hospital authorities, mortuaries and foreign embassies to ensure the mourning families face no further harassment,” said Reddy.

Anthyesti Funeral Services Logo. Image source: plus.google.com
Anthyesti Funeral Services Logo. Image source: plus.google.com

Last year in 2015, Reddy organized a Funeral of a relative and encountered a lot of trouble and hassle that many people go through when they there is no one to assist. And this idea struck her to provide funeral assistance to such people. Then they have to rely upon funeral touts and dubious priests who exist in a large number.

Her start-up provides funeral assistance at four mortuaries in Kolkata – Keoratala, Nimtala, Garia Adimahasmashan, and Ramakrishna Mahasmashan. They provide assistance to Bengalis, Arya Samajis, Biharis, Marwaris, Sindhis and Punjabis among Hindus.

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The package ranges between Rs 40,000 and Rs 45,000- including the charges of hiring the hearse van and the completion of ‘shradh‘ ceremony along with vegetarian meal serving up to 60 guests. Although, the package for Biharis and Gujratis ranges from Rs 75,000 to Rs 80,000. The highest priced package is for Marwaris that is above Rs 1 lakh. And the cheapest package is for Bengalis since they have less funeral rituals to perform.

On different packages for different communities, Reddy said to theIndiandiaspora.com that “The package for communities differs because they have different rites and rituals. While the Bengalis prefer electrical crematoriums, non-Bengalis prefer the wooden pyre. Marwaris and Gujaratis have longer puja sessions as compared to those of Bengalis”.

Although, you can seek services for any particular rites also instead of the whole package. Reddy said, “Our aim is to standardize the unregulated funeral rites industry”.

–  prepared by Akanksha Sharma of NewsGram. Twitter: Akanksha4117

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Hindus In Delhi Push For A Temple On The Ruins Of a Mosque

The Supreme Court has delayed hearings into the disputed site but hardliners have vowed to lay a foundation stone next year regardless.

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Supporters of Vishwa Hindu Parishad gather during a rally in New Delhi, Dec. 9, 2018. The group gathered thousands of supporters to demand the construction of a Hindu temple on a site where a mosque was attacked, demolished in 1992. VOA

Tens of thousands of hardline Hindu protesters marched in New Delhi on Sunday, calling for a grand temple to be built on the ruins of a destroyed mosque in a flashpoint Indian city.

Trident-waving devotees clad in saffron filled a huge parade ground in the Indian capital under tight security, where speakers warned Prime Minister Narendra Modi they would not let up until the temple was sanctioned.

Some of Modi’s supporters feel the Hindu nationalist leader has not done enough to raise a shrine at a site in Ayodhya, a city believed by many to be the birthplace of the deity Ram.

The site was home to a medieval mosque for 460 years until Hindu zealots tore it down in 1992, kicking off riots across India that left thousands dead, most of them Muslims.

Its future has been tied up in courts for decades but some hardliners want Modi, who is seeking reelection in 2019, to push parliament to guarantee the temple by law.

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“The gathering here is telling you that Hindus won’t sit back until the temple is built, and our wishes are respected,” said Champat Rai, the leader of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) group that organized the protest.

Demonstrators chanting “Praise be to Ram” packed the Ramlila Maidan, a vast ground capable of holding more than 50,000 people, and filled the surrounding streets.

Some carried maces and tridents — weapons traditionally wielded by Hindu gods — and traveled great distances by train and bus to reach the rally.

“We have come here to protect our religion and Hindu pride. We want a temple for our Lord Ram,” Hitesh Bharadwaj, a teacher from Delhi’s satellite city Noida, told AFP.

The hardline VHP has applied pressure on Modi in recent weeks, staging a huge show of force in Ayodhya itself last month.

Hindu, Mosque
Photo credit: theguardian.com

A close ally of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the group is spearheading a push to raise the Ram temple, and is calling for more protests as the premier prepares to go to the polls by May.

The BJP was on the margins until the 1980s when its top leaders, including Modi, backed a growing movement for the construction of the Ram temple.

Its advocates want parliament to introduce a law bypassing legal hurdles blocking the temple before Modi’s term ends.

Also Read: Delhi’s Air Quality Leads To Ban On Trucks And Construction

The Supreme Court has delayed hearings into the disputed site but hardliners have vowed to lay a foundation stone next year regardless.

“We don’t care about the courts. A grand temple will be constructed in 2019,” Sushil Chawdhary, a VHP leader, told AFP. (VOA)