Inverclyde council in Scotland which is on the banks of the Clyde River is the first authority in Scotland to make official provision for the Sikh and Hindu community. They have done this by allocating a place for the scattering of ashes into river, so that the community can carry out funeral rites.
The council has deemed the Newark slipway near the Port Glasgow as the suitable location. Apparently the only one suitable for the scattering of ashes along the west coast of the authority. They have installed handrails in to improve the safety at the location.
The majority of Hindus and Sikh need to scatter ashes in water after their loved one has been cremated. Up until recently families that could afford it would fly the ashes back to Indian so that they could be scattered on the holy river Ganges. However, as time has passed families are more content to use British rivers for the purpose of scattering the ashes.
Now the authority have recognised this need and made specific provision for the community. Which I think is an entirely positive step. The Hindu Sikh population in Scotland is a round 25,000 or about 0.5% of the total population. This is according to Wikipedia
What was interesting was the way in which it was reported in the Scottish paper, it was refers to a Sikh, and the term Hindu was omitted, yet the Hindu population is bigger and more likely to use the facility. Here are the two sources that have reported this Daily Record and the Evening Times. Whether they are same company I don’t know.
What the council say:
It was further compounded by the quotes from the council who said: “We have been dealing with the Sikh and Indian community for some time with a view to identifying a suitable location for scattering ashes on the Clyde.
“Clearly this is a very sensitive issue and we have been doing our best to help.
“The group has approached every local authority looking for assistance. We are hopeful that the assistance we have provided will help with the solemn and dignified scattering of ashes.
“One of the rites of Sikh funerals is scattering the ashes of loved ones in flowing water. Such as a river or the sea.
“Members of the Sikh community in the west of Scotland have been trying to find a suitable and accessible location to allow this to take place in the River Clyde.
“The only suitable location identified is the slipway at Port Glasgow.
“As a welcoming place and one that supports people of all faiths and none in saying their final farewell to loved ones, it is right that we support members of the wider Scottish Sikh community where we can.
“The handrail is there to support this and other uses.”
The spokesmen focus only to the Sikh community and refers to the Indian community instead of the Hindu faith. I wonder why they have used this distinction? Error, or on purpose? Finally, I am not sure a slipway is appropriate but there you go.
We have been helping Hindu and Sikh communities for some time helping find suitable locations and with the provision or water urns and Hindu urns, Sikh and water ceremony sets which seem quite popular.