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Need for basic amenities at Gomdar crematorium

Residents of Gomdar Gewog in Samdrup Jongkhar are calling for basic amenities to be constructed at the gewog crematorium. They claim it is currently inconvenient as the crematorium doesn’t have electricity, toilets, or a kitchen. Residents say such amenities are necessary to ensure the smooth conduct of dignified and respectful funeral rites for the dead.

The cremation for a deceased draws a huge crowd as relatives and neighbours gather to show support and solidarity for the grieving family.

However, for the residents of Gomdar, the inadequate infrastructure at the crematorium has put an additional burden on the already grieving families and locals using the facility.

Villagers say it is inconvenient for them to cook and serve food and refreshment to family members and other attendees during the cremation and subsequent rituals. As a result, some families have to arrange food from their homes.

And the lack of toilets is another issue, especially for those spending nights at the crematorium.

“It is not convenient. We badly need basic facilities. There is no space to stay and no toilet,” said Tashi Lhamo, a resident of the gewog.

“The government has provided us with facilities. But that was damaged by a landslide. So, we don’t have a proper space to even house the monks during funerals,” said  Gyeltshen Wangdi, another resident, Gomdar Gewog

“It is inconvenient, especially during rainy days. We need a proper space to stay with a kitchen and a toilet,” said Sherab Gyeltshen, a resident.

The Gomdar Gewog Administration says the crematorium was constructed in 2017 with a toilet. But the toilet was washed away by a landslide in 2020. The gewog could not reconstruct the toilet and other facilities due to a lack of budget.

“It is very important for the villagers. We have the water supply already however it is not equipped with electricity and a toilet. We don’t have a budget. Nonetheless, the gewog administration is looking for a budget,” said Karchung, Gomdar Gup.

Gomdar has more than 600 households and the gewog crematorium sees about three to four cremation rituals every month. Some residents of Wangphu Gewog also use the facility.

Kinley Wangchuk, Samdrup Jongkhar

Edited by Phub Gyem