Friday, 18 May 2012

Bristol authorities to allow Hindus to scatter ashes in the Avon

Authorities in Bristol are considering allowing the Hindu community in the city to use the River Avon to scatter the ashes of loved ones rather than travelling to the River Ganges in India.

Bristol’s new Mayor Peter Main said providing an appropriate site for the ritual was a priority.

Mr Main said: "It's their tradition to scatter ashes on water and quite often now they're flown back to India to do that.
"They're Bristolian, most are born and bred in Bristol, why shouldn't they have somewhere in Bristol to scatter their ashes?"

The Environment Agency and Bristol City Council are reportedly trying to identify a site.
A community spokesperson said there were currently about 10,000 Hindus in Bristol and the surrounding area.

Parag Bhatt, from the Bristol Hindu Temple, said it would be welcomed by other communities as well: "It's not just the Bristol Hindu community that's going to benefit, it will be other communities like the Sikh and Buddhist as well.

"The only reason we take them (ashes) to the Ganges is because they don't have a place in Bristol or nearby where they can disperse the ashes.

"If there are elderly people in the family it can be difficult and if it's a large family you're going to incur large costs as well for flights.  It's just a matter of making it easier for the family who has just lost a loved one" he told the BBC.

- UKAsian Staff/Reports