The Women and Child Development (WCD) Ministry on Thursday asked all the state governments to provide a safe burial for kids below the age of three, after a child was turned away from several crematoriums in Delhi for burial earlier this week. "The officials at the cremation grounds turned the parents of the kid away saying there is no provision to bury a child in a crematorium," a WCD ministry official told HT.
Under Hindi rituals, children below the age of three are buried. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi admitted that there is no clarity at the crematoriums whether Hindu children below the age of three should be buried or cremated. "There have been cases were Hindu children below the age of three were cremated," an official said. The ministry was also informed that mostly children’s bodies are flown into Yamuna or buried on the banks of the river, in absence of adequate cremation grounds.
As the news reached the WCD ministry, officials started inquiry about the state of cremation grounds for children in Delhi. The MCD informed that of 268 crematoriums in Delhi there was only one for children in Delhi at Seemapuri. "We were told that it is in a bad state with no security provision. The dogs regularly monger there and had occasionally dig up bodies," an official said, explaining the sorry state of affairs of burial grounds for children in Delhi.
The WCD ministry on Wednesday telephonically contacted MCD, NDMC and DDA officials. "MCD officials indicated that there is no problem in obtaining land from the DDA for burial ground for children and money is not an issue," an official said. After this, Dikshit was contacted and she assured Chowdhury that soon a meeting would be called of officials to earmark adequate land for burial grounds for children in Delhi.
Following a positive response from Dikshit, the WCD secretary Deepa Jain Singh would soon write to other state governments to make a similar provision for burial of children.