Hindu community in Tsirang to have proper crematorium by year-end

If everything goes as planned, the Hindu community in Tsirang will get a crematorium with all the basic amenities by the end of this year. Today, without a proper crematorium, people say, it is inconvenient and added pressure for them to conduct cremation when they are already grieving the loss of their loved ones.

The old crematorium located along the Changchey Stream in Semjong Gewog was relocated towards the south of the stream after the site was identified for the construction of a cottage and small industry estate in 2019.

Currently, in the absence of a proper crematorium, the Hindu community in the district conducts cremation at an identified site in Gosarling Gewog, a few kilometres from where it was previously located.

However, people say, the lack of basic amenities at the site is causing inconveniences to the bereaved family members while conducting funeral rites for the deceased.

“It is very difficult when we have to prepare meals in open space in the rain and scorching sun without a proper crematorium at the moment. It is even more difficult during peak summer when we receive heavy rainfall,” said Dawa Sherpa, a resident of Kilkhorthang Gewog.

“The present location doesn’t have a proper shed for people attending cremation and Pandits to recite prayers. There is no toilet and we are compelled to defecate in the open. So, we need proper toilets,” said Bijay Kumar Monger, a resident of Tsholingkhar Gewog.

“It is difficult for us to recite prayers for the deceased when it rains. We use umbrellas to protect our prayer books from the rain. So, having a proper crematorium will benefit us immensely,” said Naratpati Adhikari, a pandit, Rangthangling Gewog.

Gosarling Gewog Administration is spearheading the construction of the crematorium with additional financial support from the Kilkhorthang Gewog Administration at the moment.

In the first phase, a crematorium which can cremate two dead bodies at a time along with a soak pit and water tank will be constructed by spending around Nu 2 M. The construction works began last month and will be completed by mid of October this year.

“If we could complete constructing a proper crematorium, it will not only benefit Hindu community members of the three gewogs. The crematorium will benefit all Hindu followers of the 12 gewogs in the district. Moreover, people living in Thimphu can also use the facility and return to Thimphu on the same day,” said Ram Bdr. Karki, Gosarling Gup.

The Gup said Semjong Gewog and a few other Gewogs in the district have committed to providing financial assistance from June. They are also in the process of seeking additional budget from the government for the facility.

It is estimated to cost around Nu 11 M to complete the new crematorium with all the basic amenities.

“One of the members of parliament has also agreed to help mobilise at least some Nu 5 M for the crematorium construction. And if other gewog administrations could provide financial assistance from June this year as committed, all facilities at the crematorium will be completed within a year,” said Ram Bdr. Karki, Gosarling Gup.

According to Hindu Dharma Samudhaya in Tsirang, more than 60 per cent of the population in the district follow Hinduism.

Pema Tshewang, Tsirang   

Edited by Phub Gyem

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