|Tamashas for the dead
Whenever a death occurs in our homes, as a tradition, we Sri Lankans spend a lot of money on the burial, we also give alms on the 7th day, 1st month, 3rd month and the 1st Death Anniversary. The middle class and poor families make this an occasion to invite our relations and friends. So this ends like a birthday celebration with liquor etc.
Nearly 50 years ago, it was an honour to have a band playing from the deceased home to the cemetery, decorate the roads with black and white flags, and throw sand on the funeral route. This is all a waste of money which could be used to feed the poorest of the poor and the destitute in our country. However, this practice today is ceasing gradually.
In our country, nearly 50 per cent are living below the poverty line (Samurdhi Cards) and we also see in our immediate neighourhood poor and starving people, ashamed to stretch their hands, suffering silently.
The need of the hour is for the heads of all religious organisation in the country to join hands together and educate its followers that there is no merit gained by the dead in giving alms to relations and friends, who in fact can find their own meals. The poor who may have not slept on a bed during their life-time, will benefit immensely from the money that could be given to them but the deceased relations would prefer to borrow money to give a grand funeral, buy an expensive coffin etc. to bury or to cremate just to show off. Why waste money on funeral tamashas.
Several religious organisations in our country with limited financial resources and on donations have provided for the old and destitute, but this is too little compared to the real needs of the poor and the elders of the country.
In this milleninium, it would be a blessing whatever religion you may believe to give to the poorest of the poor and to Elder's Homes in memory of the dead. In some of these Homes, they do not know when the next meal will come.
It is we who should drive this point with our growing up children, take them and show these charitable institutions and provide meals, alms, send cash donations etc. on a regular basis to the Elder's Homes in our country and not have tamashas in the name of our dead parents, relatives and friends.
"The hand that gives gathers".
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