US Gets its First Ashes Immersion Centre, Built By Gurudwara

CHICAGO:  A Gurudwara in the US state of Illinois has built what is said to be America’s first ashes immersion centre on the banks of Rock river, allowing the Sikh and Hindu community members to perform their rituals legally.

Built on the banks of Rock river by Nanaksar Sikh Temple in Rockford city, the centre was made after getting permission from the local authorities, the chief of the temple Daljit Singh said.

Mr Singh said earlier people were facing a lot of hurdles in immersing the ashes of their relatives after their death as the law in the country does not allow anyone to immerse the ashes in rivers, making it illegal.

“Several people were arrested, fined and given warnings after being caught immersing ashes by the US police in the past. If someone wished to send the ashes back to India, they had to go through a lot of paper work and other security-related formalities which were like a nightmare,” Mr Singh told PTI over phone today.

“With the establishment of this particular centre meant to facilitate those wanting to immerse the ashes of their dead relatives, the Sikh and Hindu community will be highly beneficial,” he said.

Nanaksar Sikh Temple, having secured all relevant permissions from the local authorities, will also provide certificate to the people who come to the centre to perform the ritual.

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Nanaksar Sikh Temple in Rockford was built last year after converting a 30,000 square feet foreclosed building that earlier served as a Baptist church.

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