Karimnagar: The Re 1 funeral scheme announced by the Karimnagar Municipal Corporation (KMC) has received widespread support with donations coming in from various quarters. The civic body’s decision to perform the last rites of any person, irrespective of economic background or standing, at a fee of just Re 1, has received tremendous response from all sections of society.
So far, KMC employees donated Rs 4 lakh, while a resident of the city from Kapu Wada, Raja Goud, donated Rs 10,000 to the corporation for the scheme. The ‘Antima Yatra-Akhri Safar’ scheme was recently announced by Mayor S Ravinder Singh, which is scheduled to be launched on June 15.
It is estimated that it would cost anywhere between Rs 5,000 and Rs 7,000 for preparation of a bier to carry a body to the burial or cremation ground and the KMC scheme comes as a great relief, particularly for poor families. About Rs 3,000 to Rs 4,000 is normally charged to dig a pit to bury the body and in case of cremation, a similar amount is required for purchasing wood.
In addition, there are other costs involved that include payment for a band — usually costing Rs 1,500-Rs 2,000 — other expenditure, including purchase of new clothes for wrapping the body and for hiring a freezer.
Speaking to Telangana Today, Sampath, a resident of Vavilalapalli area, said he knew of many people who had run into debts because they had to borrow money for performing funerals that cost up to Rs 10,000 or more, along with incurring expenditure for rest of the customs that are to be followed.
Praising the corporation’s decision, a vegetable vendor, M Laxmaiah, said the programme will be a great help to families of the poor. “In some cases, when people do not have money, community elders contribute money to perform the funeral,” he said. To reduce this burden and reinforce faith among the poorer sections, the corporation has taken a decision to perform the final rites of the deceased by collecting a token amount of Re 1.
The KMC plan promises that irrespective of caste or religion, funerals will be performed in line with the religious customs of the deceased person. The only thing that has to be done by the family members or relatives is to give their nod and take a receipt after paying Re 1 to the corporation.
In return, the KMC will bear all expenses except the cost of hiring a band and purchasing new clothes.
KMC, which conducted a study on the entire and funeral process of different religions, has earmarked Rs 1.50 crore for the purpose. Besides two vehicles to carry the bodies to graveyards, it has also decided to purchase two freezers by spending Rs 10 lakh. A corpus fund with an amount of Rs 50 lakh will be maintained to purchase wood. The corporation has also decided to constitute a separate body to oversee the implementation of the programme.