Flood stops holy cremation practices in Varanasi, India

Flood stops holy cremation practices in Varanasi, India

- Flooding in Uttar Pradesh state claimed the lives of 20 and counting and left thousands homeless

- Flood caused thousands to cremate loved ones on roofs

- Flood forced lady to give birth on a boat on her way to the hospital

Monsoon season has arrived. With these great winds came heavy rains that have caused rivers to overflow leading to flash flooding. This was the case in Varanasi, India, when heavy rains hit the city that caused a flood that has ceased the ancient rituals of cremations.

Flood stops holy cremation practices in Varanasi, India

(Photo from the Guardian)

The city is known as the spiritual capital of India. It is located in the state of Uttar Pradesh, at the banks of the Ganges Rivers. This is where thousands visit to cremate love ones and scatter their ashes in the river in hopes for a better future.

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In just a matter of days, the flood has taken the lives of more than 20 people in the city and has forced more than a 100,000 residents to flee their homes.

With the Holy city flooded, many pilgrim, who wish to practise their holy rituals, are forced to cremate on roofs of houses near the Ganges.

Government spokesman of Utter Pradesh, Shailendra Pandey, had this to say on the matter, “As the Ghats are not available for cremation, the roofs of Havelis and other old houses along the Ghats are being used for cremation, but with great difficulty”.

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Cremation has been in effect in these holy cities for generations and will not likely stop, says officials on the matter of families cremating on roofs.

To make matters worse, cities come into a big halt as the flood makes government services hard to perform.

In Banda, a district in Uttar Pradesh, the flood has forced a woman to give birth on a boat, while she was on her way to a medical house.

The inhabitants of the state starts criticizing local officials for doing next to nothing to help people in this times of need. However, government officials respond that it is extremely difficult to send help since the floods have cut most routes that connect the city to certain hospitals.

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A police official, RK Pandey, announced, “The child is fit and fine. We are extending all possible help to the family. Even if we had sent an ambulance there was no way it could have reached that place”.

As of now more than 100,000 people are left homeless and forced to reside in relief camps. A growing number of more than 20 people have died from floods and mudslide.

Government officials say that relief groups and emergency workers are sent to rescue and aid the people in Uttar Pradesh. - Kami Media

 

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