No one can plan for death and funeral process and it has become a difficult process due to COVID-19. The pandemic put restrictions everywhere even on the gatherings of relatives or neighbours during the funeral ceremony of a non-COVID victim also.
In light of these restrictions due to the lockdown a Pune based startup, which makes available services of priests and other materials required for the ceremony, is now planning to start funeral management service through its online platform.
The firm “Guruji on Demand” is additionally planning to start holistic funeral rituals through online platforms. Pranav Chaware, the partner of the firm, told PTI that they are planning to start the service by the end of this month.
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The company provides services like helping the family to get the death certificate of the deceased person, collecting coffins/corpse, transporting the body to the crematorium, obtaining crematorium pass. Providing priests and material required for last rituals as part of its “Moksha Service”.
The objective of this service is to provide a “one-stop solution” to the families and give them support in the hard times and to help them in performing the last rites in a hassle-free manner, said Chaware.
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He said that due to the pandemic, gatherings of relatives and neighbours are not allowed even during the funeral of non-COVID victims, especially nuclear families which are already in grief and shock.
Chaware also mentioned, “All the services like obtaining a death certificate, transporting the body to the crematorium, preparing bier, arranging persons to carry bier on shoulders, post last rites and catering services, providing gurujis with required items, etc., will be starting from June end.” People can book for their services through the company’s website or the company’s dedicated mobile app.
The firm currently has 650 priests enrolled with them in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwadi areas of Maharashtra. He further informed, “If a person wants services of a priest for any ritual at his home, he/she can simply go to our portal and priest living within 5Km radius of person’s house will be made available.”
Currently in this situation of the virus, with social distancing, priests even perform puja through video conferencing. And if a priest’s physical presence is required for rituals performance all precautionary measures are taken while sending them to the customers’ place.
He also told the use of the technology, has turned the unorganized sector into the service industry and generating revenues for the state in terms of GST also.
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As the time is changing and with the growing needs, just like this startup there are various other startups like Mokshshil and Anthyesti who have ventured in organizing funeral management services. Mokshshil is providing funeral services in Ahmadabad started by Bilva Desai in 2015. Similarly, Anthyesti is an end to end funeral service provider founded by Shruthi Reddy in February 2016.