No crematorium, Kerala tribals bury the dead inside their homes
- Only half of the Panchayaths in Kerala have common burial grounds.
- Ironically, a tribal hamlet in Kannur has 25 homes and 100 graves.
In this tribal hamlet at Vaalumukku in Kannur, people live with the dead. The reason, they have no space to bury their loved ones who passed away. The 50 cent hamlet now has more graves than houses.
Only half of the Panchayaths in Kerala have common burial grounds, and it is not lack of funds but inefficient utilisation of money by authorities that rob these people from their right to own a final resting place.
In 2004, Asianet News had reported the helplessness of a family in Nedumngadu who had to raze down their kitchen to make space to bury their family member. Reports reveal that little has changed over the years, in 2015, a tribal leader in Wayanad was buried beside a common well.
And more recently a man in Kozhikode had to pull down his kitchen to make space to bury his mother.
"Two people buried on the other side of the house and three this side, where else do we take them", ask Santha resident of Vaalumukku hamlet.
"This is my mother and there lies my father. We had our ancestors also buried here but to built this Anganavady building we had to dig them out," says Sasi another occupant of this colony.
Many of the families have left the place as the graves have surpassed the number of houses. The hamlet now has 100 graves and just 25 houses.
Among the 941 Grama Panchayats 460 have no common crematoriums though there are provisions to buy land with the consent of district collector most of the Panchayats are not utilising the fund allotted for the purpose efficiently.
The United Democratic Front government's promise to set up 100 common crematorium have also not seen the light of the day. With the local bodies too turning a blind eye to the plight of these tribals more and more hamlets are turning into burial places.