Manoj Sengar and his wife Madhavi, started the ‘Asthi Kalash’ bank back in 2014, in Kanpur. This initiative allows people to keep the ashes of their kin after the body has been cremated, and encourages them to bury the ashes in the ground, instead of immersing them into the Ganga river.
Till date, the bank has served 2,500 customers so far. The couple now plans to start similar banks in 10 other districts of the state, including Lucknow, Allahabad, Fatehpur and Kannauj.
“The task was not easy, but we received immense support from saints and seers including Swami Vinay Swaroop Brahamchari and former city mayor Jagatveer Singh Drona. In this new year, we have pledged to set up similar banks in 10 districts, where we will encourage people to go for soil immersion of the ashes while performing all the necessary rituals,” said Manoj to the Times of India.
The immersing of ashes in Ganga is a major reason why there has been an increase in the pollution levels of the river, and through this initiative, the couple wants to help save it from further pollution. “We also encourage people to opt for electric crematorium for performing last rites,” Manoj said.
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When people who give ashes to ‘Aasthi Kalash’ bank do not turn up, Manoj and his colleagues perform all the rituals themselves and bury the ashes.
Since the couple started the bank, it has not only given people an option to store the ashes but also help in saving the holy river. Implementing it across various cities is a fantastic idea, and the efforts of the couple must definitely be applauded.