Features Tuesday, April 07, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute| December 18, 2014| 5.09 pm IST When someone close to us passes away, it is always difficult to function normally, especially when it comes to the immediate arrangements for a funeral. The painful process, however, may have got a little easier – with the Indian Funeral Service. It is touted as the first funeral service in India that went online. Started 25 years ago by the Noronha family in Mumbai, the service is now run by Elroy Noronha. “It was through my Uncle who started this business only with the sole intention to make coffins and provide hearse services locally. He could not take the challenges in the initial days of struggle. Later after 2-3 years, we stepped in and took over. Initially it was difficult for us too. But as time phased out we too were doing modest work. In our initial days of work, we were doing just 4-5 funerals per month. Today we are doing one funeral almost each day” said Noronha. In 2008, it was decided that the service would be launched online, to make it easier for people to make arrangements for funerals in their difficult time. “The website serves a tool to save our brethren from going through troubled times. Imagine if a death has occurred and family wants to make an arrangement, they don’t need to loose hope. A lot of practical information is put in our website” said Noronha. This perhaps is a one of a kind funeral service as they offer their services all over India. Although based out of Mumbai, they also have offices in Goa and Delhi. They have correspondents in almost every other state in the country, making it easy for anyone to avail of their many services. The services offered include cremations, burials, embalming, floral tributes and even exhumations. They also offer repatriations – both national and international. Noronha claims that their service is widely respected and even availed by NRIs and embassies or foreign countries. Tweet The service is also unique in the respect that they cater to people from all religions – Christians, Hindus, Muslims and Parsis. In fact, one of the services they offer is the scattering of ashes in the Varanasi, something most Hindus consider sacred. Another service that the Indian Funeral Service provides is a ‘mobile morgue’, which is a deep freezer with a glass lid. It acts as a portable morgue of sorts, preserving the body outside the hospital morgue while providing easier access for the family and friends to mourn the person. It is portable and runs on electricity. Noronha says that they are growing day by day and that they are glad that they can help the community, in their times of dire need. He also hopes that one day, with advent of science and technology and government regulations, the Indian Funeral Service can also introduce cryogenic freezing – a process of freezing a dying body and its vital organs in hopes that they can be ‘resurrected’ in the future with more advanced medical facilities at hand.