“As we have responsibilities for the living, we have
Challenges of India’s Crematoriums
Crematoriums across India are plagued by substandard infrastructure and maintenance as well as unhygienic conditions. Most workers lack the necessary understanding about the ancient tradition of death rituals and the relevant processes that need to be performed.
The families of the deceased are often exploited. While the last rites are performed, families are asked to offer footwear, clothes, money etc. Such gross handling of the grieving families prevents them from experiencing the loss of their loved ones with sanctity and ease.
Today, funerals also have a negative environmental impact. Trees are cut for wood used to burn bodies, thereby increasing carbon emissions and degrading the environment.
Isha has revived ancient traditions and death rituals with a powerful energy basis, conducting them in the spirit of service rather than as a commercial venture. The processes are performed with sensitivity and awareness to ease the hearts of the family of the deceased.
At Isha, cremations are conducted in a traditional way, with appropriate chants and karmas to benefit the departed life and the grieving families. Isha’s adopted crematoriums also provide services such as tonsure, 16th day karma ceremony and hygienic amenities.
A fixed standard fee is charged for each cremation (as agreed with the municipal government), preventing any kind of exploitation. The crematoriums also have mortuary vans, which provide transportation at a nominal cost.
The installation of LPG pipelines to replace the use of firewood improves the burning efficiency and reduces carbon emissions. The use of efficient burners hastens the cremation process, thereby enabling the family members to collect the ashes on the same day.
Exhaust pipes pass through a water tank to remove carbon particles before their release into the air, controlling pollution. This contributes to a safer, cleaner environment.
The crematoriums also provide employment to youth, training them to maintain the facilities and conduct themselves with care, grace and dignity.
Adoption of Government –
Isha Foundation has adopted crematoriums from the government, providing necessary improvements to the infrastructure, including:
- Replacing the usage of firewood with LPG.
- A well-maintained garden area with a lotus or lily pond to create a peaceful ambience. Each garden is a minimum of 1000 square feet.
- Mandapam for performing the last rites before cremation.
Isha currently operates 4 crematoriums in partnership with the State Government.
• Nanjundapuram • Thudialur • Veerakeralam • Podanur
Seven more crematoriums are also in the process of being adopted:
• Alandurai • Thondamuthur • Vellalore
• Namakkal • Karamadai • Athupalam • Chokkanapudur