Ensuring comfort to the dead

Moving beyond mere monetary work is not often a popular step for a bank. But here is one cooperative bank that, true to its name, has become a model in the area. The Vysya Cooperative Bank in Tumkur has taken up the development work — of all things, as some say — of a crematorium.

Although a city close to the state capital, Tumkur is not well endowed in terms of amenities. That the citizens have been provided with a basic facility like a crematorium by a cooperative bank is a positive development for Tumkur, under such circumstances.

The crematorium is situated on the Chickpet Garden Road and deputy commissioner I M Vitthal Murthy had granted up to one and a half acres of land to construct the building. The bank has spent about Rs 25 lakhs for the development of the crematorium, which now has two separate rooms for the preparation of the bodies brought in by people belonging to different communities.

A bathroom is also provided at the crematorium. A silicon chamber, with an extensive ‘junk sheet’ used as a roof, has been installed here for the cremation of three bodies at one go. This is a special convenience for the people who get bodies here, as they can use the crematorium, at given anytime. The sheet also makes it easy for people to stock 200 kg to 250 kg of wood for the cremation, without worrying about the timber going damp in the rain.

The people in charge of the crematorium too have a rest house right at the place, for their stay. A borewell has been provided, to supply water all day long, as well as a compound wall as security measure. In addition to all this, the office of the crematorium has telephone facilities. Wood and other things needed for the last rites too will be provided at the crematorium. The official death certificates will be handed over to families of the deceased right here.

To make things a little ‘bearable’ for  bereaved families, the crematorium has been provided with a park. There are even plans to provide the crematorium with a vehicle to transport the bodies, said manager of the bank S R Sridhar Murthy, adding that an electric crematorium might also be built.

The bank had plans to provide pure drinking water to residents of Tumkur and the project, called Vasavi Ganga, was implemented to ensure every household gets potable water.

For its own staffers, a free medical check up centre has been opened on the premises of its branch on Vivekananda Road. The bank has also donated Rs 15 lakhs for the Dr Shivakumara Swami Hi-tech Hospital being constructed at Tumkur.

K P Lakshmi Kantharaje Urs(Translated by Chitra Phalguni)

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