Hotel Atithi

Status of pallbearers

In August 2019 I approached 16 major Zoroastrian anjumans and punchayets in India for feedback on the socio-economic status of pallbearers (pictured) and any prospective efforts to phase out the system. Only five replied, despite my sending subsequent reminders. Here are the findings I have been able to glean. In Calcutta, there have been no paid pallbearers for several years. There are only volunteers to whom a small honorarium is offered, which only some accept. They are fully integrated into the community. Eighty percent of Zoroastrians in Calcutta still opt for dakhmenashini. In Surat, the Panchayat has not thought of phasing out......

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