Wednesday Zen Moment: In a crowded country, finally a resting place for departed pets in India

There’s a severe lack of burial ground space in India but pet owners are now find ways to ensure their departed critters now have a spot to rest.

Lack of burial grounds for furry four-legged animals in city makes it very difficult for pet owners to give them a final farewell. In order to give their pets a final goodbye, an NGO from the city decided to make a burial ground for pets in Murbad.

The burial groundwas built on a half acre plot of land at the NGOs animal rescue centre in Murbad.

“It is the only burial ground for pets in Thane district. The idea of making one came into our mind when our building dog Raju passed away in 2009. Everyone from the building came to see him for the last time and we buried him near a temple in Dombivli, we wanted to put up a memorial but weren’t allowed. That time it struck me that there should be a burial place for animals as well. So in 2015 we built a burial ground for pets at our animal rescue centre,” said Nilesh Bhanage, founder of PAWS.

Pet owners can either make a tomb or plant a tree where they bury their pets. Also they are given an option of either paying for the burial or giving food of the same amount for the strays. The burial ground in the last two years has three tombs and six owners have planted trees instead of keeping a stone whereas the remaining five have left the space to be used later. There have been total 14 burials since 2015.

In Kolkata, these are small concrete stretches named after pets at the sprawling 11-acre pet burial ground, Na-Manusher Swarga, on the southern outskirts.

The cemetery is dotted with rows of small tombs resembling “kennels”, most of which are built with white marbles, with a plaque bearing the pet’s name and photo. In remembrance of the fond times they spent with their pets, many families have kept the clothes, utensils and toys, which the animals used at the graves. A family has even installed a ceiling fan at a tomb.

Dogs, cats, rabbits, birds and a horse are buried there. A sniffer dog from the Army was buried at the cemetery with full military honour.

Kalyani University teacher Rahul Sinha came up with the idea of setting up a pet cemetery. Inspired by him, social activist Tarun Bhushan Guha set up the burial ground, around 30 km from the city’s nerve centre in 1992.

Since then, around 6,000 animals have been buried here,” said Pranab Guha, Samity secretary. “Far from the madding crowd, it’s a serene and green pocket that the families love to visit. They are happy with the way we take care of the monuments.”

Each grave is regularly cleaned and is decked up with flowers on anniversaries.

 For burial, a family has to pay Rs 1,000 (about $24 Cdn) and for a monument, they have to pay Rs 4,000 ($100 Cdn) more every year as maintenance cost.



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Peg Fong is also in recovery from newspapers

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