Kanpur, April 17 (IANS) It is a bank with a difference and its lockers do not contain precious jewels or documents.
The lockers contain ashes of the deceased that cannot be immersion in the holy rivers due to lockdown.
“A large number of people want to immerse the ashes of their loved one in Prayagraj, Varanasi or Haridwar but they are unable to go there due to the lockdown. Since ashes cannot be kept at home, as per Hindu tradition, we are keeping them in the ‘Asthi Kalash Bank’ till the lockdown is over. There are about 60 urns containing ashes,” said Manoj Sengar who set up the bank in 2014 under the aegis of Yug Dadhichi Dehdaan Sansthan.
Sengar said: “I set up the bank in 2014 when I realised that there are people whose children live abroad and they are unable to come in time for the cremation. The relatives who perform the last rites also cannot stay back for long. So, we started this to preserve the ashes till the children come and claim them. There are no charges and we only give a card to the family which bears the locker number.”
The bank at Bhairon Ghat, however, is being utilized by people in the lockdown and there are 60 urns containing ashes that have been kept in the lockers since the lockdown was imposed.
The bank is also the custodian of those ashes that remain unclaimed.
“In some cases, people do not return to claim the ashes. We wait for a year and then perform ‘Bhu-visarjan’ by burying them in the ground,” he said.
Sengar said that he plans to extend the services in other cities of the state too.