Bhopal: Following Nagpur and Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal is all set to replace firewood used in cremation with ‘gau kashth’ (logs made from cow dung).
Bhopal has three large cremation grounds in Subhash Nagar, Chola and Bhadbhada, where approximately 4,000 cremations are done every year. Each pyre uses 3 quintals of firewood. If this experiment is successful, it will help save 12,000 quintals of wood every year, that is about 4,000 trees annually.
How it happened
Dr VK Saxena, a senior scientist at Central Pollution Control Board, said that when his father passed away three months ago and was cremated in Gwalior, he decided to carry out the cremation using ‘gau kashth’ after he learned that the facility was available at the cremation ground there. Later, he got in touch with Pandurang Namdev, vice-president of the Bhadbhada Cremation Ground Committee, to introduce the ‘gau shakth’ alternative in Bhopal.
Nagpur does it right!
In an inquiry carried out by the Committee, they found that ‘gau kashth’ was a better success in Nagpur. Notably, the Municipal Corporation itself makes ‘gau kashth’ available for cremations in the city. But Nagpur uses straw, chaff and biodegradable materials to make the brick-shaped wood blocks that are about 3 feet in length. While in Jaipur and Gwalior, only cow dung is used to make the firewood.
Opposition in Varanasi
Earlier in 2017, Varanasi began carrying out cremations using only cow dung cakes at the city’s ghats for an eco-friendly environment. This was met by opposition from local wood sellers. However, many Vedic scholars and pundits welcomed the move saying it was not against tradition as cow dung cakes have always been used along with wood for cremations.