The crematories for Dalits in Delwara district of Rajasthan are in very bad shape. There is no place for the relatives to sit and no arrangement for drinking water. There is no shed to burn the body. During monsoons, the relatives use rubber tyres to burn the deceased. For the last 25 years, the road leading to crematory has not been constructed. People face a lot of problems while carrying the body on this road. There are garbage, broken glasses and thorns which hamper the ceremonious final walk on this road.
Community Correspondent Shambhu belongs to the Khatik community in Delwara, Rajasthan. The crematorium space for his community is shared with two other Dalit sub-castes, the Meghwals and the Ghametis. Shambu speaks of the space as a ‘ghetto’ for the dearly departed. Repeated attempts to bring the issues to the notice of the authorities have resulted in empty promises.Meanwhile, in another part of this feudal town, the so-called ‘upper’ caste crematorium is connected by a pucca road. A shed covers funeral pyre. And the mourners don’t have to go thirsty.
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