Absence of vettiyans pose problem to residents

U Tejonmayam

First Published : 06 Sep 2010 03:04:59 AM IST

Last Updated : 06 Sep 2010 09:14:13 AM IST

CHENNAI: It is not an easy end, both for the dead and their relatives
who arrive at the graveyard located at Ambedkar Nagar in Tambaram as
there is no employee or vettiyan to do the final rites there for many

The graveyard, located in the 20th ward at Tambaram, is more than five
decades old and is under the control of the Tambaram municipality
catering to the needs of both Hindus and Christians.

Absence of a vettiyan had raised many problems among the residents as
the relatives have to make the pyre or bury the body themselves that
sometimes leads to improper cremation or burial.

Residents claim that the bodies were cremated in odd hours especially
between 4pm and 1 am, as there is no one to maintain the yard or
question the people.

The five-acre site is used for cremation by over 10,000 families of
Ambedkar Nagar, Bharathi Nagar, Avvai Nagar, MGR Nagar, Indra Nagar
and Rajaji Nagar.

According to the residents, at least two to three bodies were cremated
a week there.

“There has been no vettiyan or a watchman to maintain the graveyard
for more than 20 years. We should bury the bodies ourselves and cannot
obtain a burial certificate.

The worst is, at times, stray dogs drag parts of bodies even as it is
in the pyre,” said 40-year-old Prakash, a resident.

“Sometimes, we won’t even know if the person being cremated had a
natural death or committed suicide,” the resident quickly added.

Many local youth offer to cremate the bodies and take Rs 2,000 to Rs
3,000 but they don’t stay there till it burns completely, complain

Repeated requests to the municipality to come up with halls to perform
final rites and meditation have not been yielded any result.

“We have invited applications for both watchman and vettiyan job, but
none approached us. But another ground with all facilities for funeral
rites is under construction at West Tambaram.

That will solve the issue once it’s ready,” said Lion E Mani,
President, Tambaram Municipality.


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