All religions advocate a proper burial and Hinduism is no exception. However, each cremation ritual costs two to three kilos of wood, which means one tree for the last rites of each person. A team of fourteen people found an alternative for the wood and a way to reduce the pollution it causes.
N. Nithyanandam began the Kasi Pasumai Yatra as an initiative to end the dependence on wood for cremation rituals in Banaras. Instead, coconut shells are to be collected from garbage heaps, powdered and then transported from Coimbatore to Banaras and used for cremation rites.
With an average of 380 bodies being cremated every day, around 280 tons of wood is used. Switching to powdered coconut shells saves 300 kgs of wood for one body. Nithyanandam traveled to Varanasi twelve times, telling people who live around the place about the ecological benefits of using coconut shells instead of wood. In fact, he invested 35 lakhs for the process.
His initiative was lauded by former environment minister Prakash Javadekar. The people living around Banaras are also realizing the feasibility of the option and the amount of pollution that can be resolved.
This is an example of being the change you want to see in the world. Kudos Mr Nithyanandam! You can check the Facebook page for Kasi Pasumai Yatra here.