“Such short lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day.” – John Grogan
An important part of loving someone immensely, is the fear of losing them. Love for our pets is no different, a bond that only a pet owner can understand. These furry/feathery, selfless friends light up our world while making us the centre of their world. They show us what true love really means. So, when they bid adieu, the loss is something so devastatingly heart-breaking, we can’t even begin to express how it feels.
In honor of our beloved little friends and the memories that they leave behind, The Compassionate Crusaders Trust runs a burial ground (and animal shelter) called Karuna Kunj situated in South 24-Parganas, that provides a befitting way to say goodbye to these little creatures that occupy a huge space in our hearts .A final resting ground that signifies the dignity that our little buddies rightly deserve.
This pet cemetery has the solitude, peace and quiet like all other cemeteries along with many grieving families who offer prayers and flowers (even sweets and cakes on special occasions) at the grave of their departed little friends.
“The burial ground is not restricted to any particular kind of pets. Dogs, cats, parrots, pigeons etc lay buried on these grounds. It was remarkable to see that in a society where most people love to eat animal flesh, a lady, loved and pet three roosters who she buried here over a period of time … there have been more than 6000 pet burials in the last 20 years in Karuna Kunj … this only goes to show what a stupendous response we have got from pet owners and animal lovers. ” – said Mr. Debasis Chakrabarti, founder and patron of Karuna Kunj, who also started the first burial site for pets named Dog’s own as a pilot project in 1991.
“Pets are loved and cared for. When they die, they are either buried in a garden or personal space or (out of no choice) have to be thrown into garbage dumps … even the thought of it is very degrading.” This was a major driving force behind the initiative of a pet burial ground – to provide a dignified burial to pets, who have, over time, become family members. Mr. Chakrabarti felt that there should be a vivid symbol of remembrance after they depart.
The burial procedure involves the deceased pet being brought in a hearse till the gate of Karuna Kunj, from there it is covered with a new white cloth and then carried on a stretcher by a family member or staff (as preferred) till the burial site, which is a 50m walk from the gate. The grave is dug in advance according to the pet’s size. All this is done at the cost of Rs.2000. There are optional charges for memorial plots.
Usually, they do not allow any pet to be buried in the same place as another within 6 months of the previous animal’s burial. Normally, the soil is recycled every 4-6 months. Once a year, the leftovers of pets are taken out and fresh soil is put for hygiene purpose. There are two portions of the burial ground. When one portion’s soil is being changed, the other portion is used.
Right here is a cemetery with a difference. Not only is it a pet cemetery, but also the idea of ‘perpetuation of life’ is encouraged here.
How? You ask. Well it’s simple. It is believed that a body may die but a soul never dies. So, when people burry their pets in Karuna Kunj, they are advised to plant a tree in the name of their pet. The idea is in believing that the pet has given life to the tree and continues to live in the form of the tree. Only plants that can sustain calcium, phosphorous can be planted there. These plants are planted in Sputnik’s garden, named after a pet dog that was maintained by the Chakrabarti family.
There are about 60 varieties of plants here. In the past 1 year, there have been two families who have even planted trees in the name of their deceased family members. The idea of recyclable burial ground is in-fact spreading globally and being acknowledged as an eco-friendly approach to human burials.
In light of the recent animal abuse trend on social media, Mr. Chakrabarti said, “there is nothing new in that. People have been doing it since ages but when they do something like this and upload it, this only shows that they want to prove that they are stronger by torturing a weaker one. It is a mental problem. According to a research, animal cruelty is a sign seen in most hardcore criminals. ”
Karuna kunj provides 24 hours service.
The Helpline No. is: 24647030.
Our heart reaches out to all those who have lost their companions along the way.
“Compassion for animals is intimately associated with goodness of character, and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man.” – Arthur Schopenhauer.