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Uttarakhand: No trace of missing children, relatives ‘incinerate’ effigies | India News


DEHRADUN: The hope that they had survived was never there. But Budaari Devi wished that she could see her sons Sandeep and Jeevan one last time before they were buried. A week after the Uttarakhand floods, without knowing if their bodies had been found, their effigies were cremated on the banks of the Yamuna in the village of Haripur on Sunday.
“We waited a week and then we gave up. They were working right in front of the dam; We know, they couldn’t have survived. All we wanted was to get their bodies back. But that didn’t happen either and time was running out, ”said Guddu, his older brother.
Among the Jaunsari community, if someone is believed to be dead and the body cannot be found, an effigy must be cremated within 14 days. “He is dressed in the clothes of the deceased and cremated as the body would be,” said Balbir Chauhan, his uncle and gram pradhan from Panjiya village.
Jeevan, 21, had left the Jaunsar Panjiya for Tapovan months earlier. There was work to be found on the Hydel project, he had heard. The money wasn’t too bad either. He called on his brother, Sandeep, 24, to join him. On January 8, Sandeep did. He was getting married on May 16.
“I spoke with them on February 6 by phone. They were happy I had called them, ”Guddu said. When news of the flood came, he went to Tapovan. But nothing appeared. So they decided it was time. Guddu returned home on Sunday, prepared the effigies and cremated his brothers.

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