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Funeral pyre (Source Wikimedia: Commons)
  • 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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