WALTHAM, MA—The Desai Foundation and INDIA New England News are jointly launching a weekly column on last rituals to educate the Indian-American community about the cost, types of services, religious and social rituals and many other related topics and details for a funeral as well as what follows for those who are left behind.
Samir Desai, founder of Burlington, MA-based the Desai Foundation, said dealing with death is a life experience no one wants to face and hence most people do not plan or think about preparing themselves for this situation.
“At the Desai Foundation, we are focused on cultivating dignity by developing community programs to help people dream beyond their circumstance. But it is important that we have dignity in death as well,” said Desai. “Death is something that isn’t often discussed – amongst friends, children and parents. We thought by creating this resource we could help inspire conversations about death, and how people want their last rites executed. We wanted to ensure that our very diverse South Asian population could see their customs and traditions fulfilled.”
Upendra Mishra, publisher of INDIA New England News and its sister publications IndUS Business Journal and Boston Real Estate Times, said this special editorial column will appear every Monday will most probably continue for at least six months.
“We are excited to launch this series about a topic that is so important and still no one wants to talk about it. Also, as the South Asian population ages, we want to educate our readers about last rites and provide with respources,” said Mishra. “We are grateful to the Desai Foundation, which has created this resource guide for the South Asian community and its various faiths.”
Mishra said the last rites column will start on June 12.
The topics covered in the series will include: religious rituals, funeral homes, memorial and funeral services, organ and tissue donation, legal procedural issues, autopsy, death reporting procedure, and moving the body to India, among other topics.
The Desai Foundation, a Boston-based non-profit organization, empowers communities through health and education in Metro Boston, Harlem, New York, and Gujarat, India.