SAMBALPUR: Losing one’s loved ones is painful. It is all the more painful to perform their cremation. To add to the woes of the town’s residents, the crematorium lacks minimum facilities to conduct the painful ceremony smoothly.

With majority of Hindus believing in ‘karma’ and rebirth, every care is taken to perform funeral rites to the minutest detail. While traditionally pure ghee and sandal wood are used during cremation, it is also ensured that the bodies are reduced to ashes.

But lighting the pyre has become a daunting task at the crematorium as the wood planks available at the outlet run by Odisha Forest Development Corporation (OFDC) are damp. Relatives of the dead struggle to ignite the flame to heap of woods forcing them to call for Shanti, who operates the crematorium to sustain her family after her husband who was manning it died.

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