Tag Archives: Death

No space for the dead

A friend returned from a funeral the other day. “These days families have begun to accept that bodies can be buried in an old burial patch with the new body interred above an old one,” she said.

Her grandma had passed away, and given the premium on real estate for burial, they had to settle for a patch that already had someone buried some years ago. Continue reading

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The dead need mango tree wood?

A botany professor at the MRM College in Darbhanga, Vidyanath Jha has come up with this simple technique. Jha found that mango orchids are disappearing because the wood is being cut for burial. Jha discovered that many trees were being cut for cremation. Wood obtained from the tree is considered auspicious. His quest to find an alternative to wood led him to the potter community who he found used earthen silos and cow dung cakes for cremation.

He says he learned the technique of cremating bodies from the potters. They arrange dung cakes in a pattern that gives maximum heat needed to fire kilns. This practice of cremating with dung cakes will save trees. Dung cakes makes for sustainable use of livestock waste. It is renewable. It is inexpensive. And it does the job without fuss.

The argument always will remain that cow dung can be used as manure to promote agriculture or for biogas production and that it does not make sense to be using this precious resource for cremation.

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