… in absence of one residents had to go either to Trashigang or Trashiyangtse

Neten Dorji | Mongar

Residents of Drametse and Narang gewogs will no longer have to move to Rangjung or Trashiyangtse to cremate the deceased.

A new crematorium is being constructed beside the Trashigang-Mongar highway at Rolong, 7km before reaching Chazam in Trashigang, for them.  More than 80 percent of construction work has been completed.

A resident, Nima Gyeltshen said, when someone died in the locality, the first thing they were worried about was the cremation ground and funeral rites.

“Without a cremation ground in the locality, we take dead bodies either to  Rangjung or Trashiyangtse hiring vehicles,” he said. “Once the new cremation ground is open to the public, it will save a lot both in terms of resources and time.”

He said they have to clear the land, prepare the kilkhor (altar) and the pyre themselves.

“We pay Nu 3,000 to hire a bolero to take the body to Rangjung. The newly-built crematorium at Rolong would immensely help economically poor people like us,” said Dema Lhamo, a villager. “It was challenging for us.”

She said the newly-built crematorium will benefit those in the nearby gewogs of Trashigang.

Many said it will be much more convenient for locals to take those deceased to Rolong because of the short distance and cheaper transportation.

“The crematorium would be closer to the village and neighbours could come to help the bereaved family,” said Jigme Zepa.

He said that it is not appropriate to cremate in an open space in the middle of a village.

“New crematorium ground would benefit us immensely so that we don’t have to cremate in open space or clear the forest.”

The crematorium ground will have facilities such as religious implements, a kitchen with utensils, and store, a toilet, and other basic facilities.

Drametse Gup, Yeshey said that it is an initiative of Sungtrul Rinpoche of Drametse Monastery and two gewogs supported with some funds.

“About Nu 4.5 million were allocated by two gewogs to develop the cremation ground,” said the gup. “Being the most populated gewog in Mongar, a crematorium ground is necessary for Drametse.”