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Funeral Services Information (India)


vaasaamsi jeernaani yathaa vihaaya navaani gr.hnaathi naro' paraani / thathaa sareeraani vihaaya jeernany-anyaani samyaathi navaani de'hi

Just as a person puts on new garments after discarding the old ones, similarly, the living entity or the individual soul acquires new bodies after casting away the old bodies (2.22) - Bhagavadgita

According to Hindu scriptures Karma is a combination of cosmic and moral cause and effect that can cross lifetimes and life lessons learned for spiritual growth. Non-Resident Indians, no matter how closely they are associated with India, especially in situations like deaths/accidents etc. understands the agony and being completely alien to the process has to go through several steps to dispose the body off or send it to India for cremation purposes. Local jurisdiction laws in US may not be receptive to Indian way of handling funeral services. Family members might be in a disturbed mindset grieving the loss and might panic when making the final arrangements. The belief in reincarnation gives great comfort to the deceased and their families because they know their loved one will be reborn into a new life and that they are not gone forever.

emergency response team

SEVA Steps to follow in case of sending remains to India

  1. Gather the incident details as requested in the Incident form.
  2. Gather the biographic information of the Primary contact like Driver’s license (mandatory), mobile # & at least a photo of the deceased.
  3. Collect an authorization letter from legal kin/Spouse/Relatives/Friends.
  4. Contact Local Funeral Service homes, provide them the basic information of the incident and find out their charges.
  5. Establish contact with the local Medical Examiner’s office where deceased body is present.
  6. Provide local funeral homes info & fee details to the legal kin/contact and request the kin to work out directly with the funeral homes.
  7. Legal kin/Friends of the affected should work with Medical Examiner's office and local funeral home to release the body.
  8. Applicants/ Legal Kin/Funeral home (usually the funeral homes will handle this) folks have to fill out the Fill Miscellaneous services form to send the remains/body to India. SEVA volunteer to assist in securing the Consular appointment based upon their jurisdiction.
  9. To speed up processing, according to Indian Consulate General, to carry mortal remains, following documents are needed:

    1. Death Certificate, clearly stating cause of death.
    2. Embalming Certificate from the concerned local authority,
    3. Certificate from the concerned local authority stating that body of the deceased is free from any kind of infection, and
    4. Burial/Transit permit. Applicant may also ascertain with concerned Airlines about additional documentary requirements, if any and obtain those from the mortuary/funeral home. Fee structures can be obtained from the consular website.
  10. Indian Consulates require Original & photocopy of the documents showing valid US Visa Status & Address Proof (utility bill etc) of the relative/friend who is processing the documents on behalf of the deceased.
  11. Processing Time: Same day, however, if unforeseen technical reasons occur, services can be delayed till those problems are resolved.