Technology Driven Transformation of Paying Homage To The Departed
The Germination of Idea
One day, a middle-aged gentleman from New Delhi listened in grim silence as his friend’s mother complained to him in a painful tone about how her son did not want to carry the ashes of his dead father from the funeral home and do justice to the departed soul. In the eyes of the elderly lady, this was not only undesirable, but sacrilegious. But from her son’s point of view, the idea was purely impractical and un-doable because where would they immerse the ashes as per Hindu rituals?
That was when an idea began to germinate in the mind of Mr.Srivastava. What if the helplessness of the grieving families across the world could be addressed? Was there a way in which the departed could be given a dignified and graceful farewell? What if their ashes could be immersed in the sacred waters of the holy Ganges in Varanasi within the stipulated period of ten to twelve days in accordance with the Vedas and the Garud Puranas?
Planning a trip to Varanashi for the Asthi-Visarjan rite (submerging of ashes) involved coordinating many variables and many a time, the waiting time involved was more than 30 days. This delay placed an enormous amount of guilt on the fellow citizens who were yet to overcome their grief of having lost a loved one. Delay in immersion of the ashes meant that the jeevaatma or soul was still tied to the ashes or this earthly abode. For the soul to pass over, the ashes need to be immersed into the Ganges as per Hindu traditions
Could this delay be addressed, so that the guilt weighed a little less on the hearts of the grieving families? The answer came in the form of Tarpan.
Entirely funded out of founders passion and savings to give something to the community around the world, is an attempt to help the grieving families residing on foreign shores to immerse the ashes of their dear departed in the sacred waters of the Ganges. This is done through rituals and services such as Asthi Visarjan (cremated remains), Pind Daan and Brahman Bhojan, Gau Daan, Shraddh Pooja and Narayan Bali Pooja. The families residing in the US can now opt for these services in any of the places listed on the website like Kashi, Gaya and Prayag.
Understanding The Helping Hands In Developing This Unique Project
For this idea to take shape, Puja found willing technology partners in Manish. Manish was responsible for all end-to-end management and coordination activities here in Varanasi. Inspite of his full-time business, he dived into this venture just for the noble
Thought behind Puja’s plans. Ragini takes care of the content and editing. Arun is a consultant from Bangalore who provides support to the content team.
Understanding The System Logistics
The head office is in New Delhi. This office is responsible for collecting, verifying and sending of the documents along with the ashes to Varanasi. The Western branch office is located in Mumbai and is responsible for syncing of all activities such as shipping the asthi to Kashi and subsequently conducting rites such as donations, Brahman bhoj, Pind-daan, Asthi visarjan and feeding grass to the cows, other facilities as per the family traditions of the departed soul. All these kinds of activities are taken care by Manish Srivastava and his team from the Mumbai office.
Ethnic Framework of These Services
When asked whether these services cater to a particular ethnic group, one of the founders replied, “This site is also open to serve anyone who wants to seek our services, regardless of their ethnicity.” The reason for this is that faith plays a pivotal role in ritual such as these.
Citing the example of how Sylvester Stallone, who had lost his son to untimely death three years ago and had his shraddh performed in a quiet ceremony in Varanasi, the team at Tarpan said that these services work solely upon faith and belief.
Mr. Srivastava’s moment of Pride
“There are many,” said the founder of Tarpan. “I understand the significance of paying homage to the departed in the spiritual context. Thus, by enabling the families, located miles across to offer monetary donations and utilizing those funds for feeding the Brahmins, donating clothes to the poor, gifting cows to the poor, feeding the cows, not only are we providing succor to the families concerned, but also feeding the needy and generating employment opportunities for many.”
Would the website expand its operations to other countries?
“I have been in different Indian States for the past 30 years. I have observed the need of this service over the years and hence decided to start in India first and then gradually venture out to the rest of the world.”
While mourning is a more public affair with rites and rituals, grief is not. It is more private and personal. In this highly conflicting scenario, how does the team ensure that he remains at the top?
“By being coherent, transparent, and appreciating the responsibility that comes with handling such an emotional issue. As you know this is a unique service and first in the world to start such an organized emotional assistance, we are determined to provide our members with authentic vedic service. We are a technologically driven company with an emotional connect and want to make sure we continuously update ourselves to bridge the gap and streamline the services. We also believe that we are the first company of its kind in India to provide this kind of humanity focussed service, and we want to adhere to the same standards,” said Manish.
Thus, at Tarpan, tradition is wedded to technology so that life-altering events such as death are handled with utmost reverence and dignity.