Sunday, July 3, 2011

Process of Consigning to Doongerwadi , Mumbai , from Overseas

Baname Khuda.

                                  Process of Consigning to Doongerwadi , Mumbai , from Overseas

Why Dokhmenashini.?
Importance of Dokhmenashini: Ervad notes.
Please also refer to recording by Dr.Chiniwalla on Dokhmenashini   at BPP website, linked through
Returning the deceased for his/her last rites requires proper pre planning and teamwork   
The project needs to be broken up in smaller parts and each part needs to be executed with precision.   It is not difficult if properly planned and coordinated.  Total costs thus far have been less/compatible to burial expenses, if one person/family member is accompanying  the corpse.
This full brief is based on various personal experiences on consigning to Mumbai  from California, USA, only, and is predicated on proper planning and back up support in Mumbai.  Hopefully with this initiative, volunteers from other countries will share their process. Requirements of each county/ state/province/country differ.  It also assumes death due to natural causes only, without contagious disease.  Before deciding to consign to Doongerwadi please refer to official website of BPP at  to ensure procedure/eligibility etc.
The various parts of the project are:
  1. Most important-Tarikats (spiritual disciplines) to be followed. Ervad Marzban Hathiram has kindly volunteered to guide and advise on this matter. Please contact him at well in advance.    
  2. Arrangements to be made immediately upon death.
  3. Documents to prepare for a) Arrival in India and Doongerewadi b) Indian embassy c) Transportation.  Clearly all these documents have to comply with US Federal and state regulations.
  4. Arrangements  to be made prior arrival of the ruvaan at Mumbai
  5. Clearing the body in Mumbai and transporting to Doongerwadi  the same day  .

1. Pre planning :
A) Identify an experienced and established mortuary .  It is a great support system to advice on latest requirements , documents  procedures, shipment  , travel rates,   and relevant website  of Indian Embassy(keeps changing) .
B )Be in touch with your family members in Mumbai and start 4 days obsequies (except Geh Sarna ) immediately upon last breath,  with your family panthak in Mumbai.  In addition, you may also carry out the same obsequies (except Geh Sarna) at place of death, if you have an access to a mobed.  Ervad Hathiram has also compiled a detailed brief on the full 4 day obsequies to be carried out. Please refer to this article at:    (Ervad please enter the address.)
C) Plan on someone to personally hand carry required  documents (listed below in 3)  to be notarized by Indian embassy in USA. Proper contact needs to be established at the embassy to save time.  With advanced planning  notarization can be done in a day.  
D) It is important to bear in mind that corpses to India can  be cleared only if embalmed .Embalming consists of removing blood from the body and injecting  formaldehyde in its place to delay rigor mortis (decomposition). Embalming adds to transshipment weight. An elegant, light coffin is necessary to limit costs. White coffins are also available.  
2. Arrangements upon death :
A) Light a diva at deceased's head and have someone pray Ashem Vohu continuously
B) Arrange for the body to be transported to mortuary immediately
C) Start four day obsequies see 1 B) above.
D) Ask mortuary to prepare body for air shipment to Mumbai .Embalm the body as soon as possible
E) If possible, apply Taro to the deceased with help of family/humdeens.
F) Prepare relevant documents.(no.3 blow)
G) Alert family members in Mumbai   see 4 below.  Also alert volunteer team detailed in 4, 5 .
I) Always double check with Doongerwadi and volunteers in 4, about all  documents required prior shipping the body from overseas. Make sure all original sets for India and place of departure are prepared.
3. Documents
Death certificate ( stating cause of death-natural cause ),embalming certificate , a certificate stating that death was not due to any contagious disease, flight schedule on airline letter head.  All documents need to be notarized by Indian embassy.Prepare seven copies of each document ,including two originals.  In addition  a no objection certificate will have to be obtained on arrival Mumbai, .See 5) Clearing the body.
4. Arrangements prior to arrival In Mumbai :A) Inform family members who should coordinate with flight details to have  Doongerwadi Hearst ready upon arrival  ,notifying bungli etc.  All Doongerwadi details, phone numbers are available on BPP website, or they can be made  available through volunteers below. .   
B) Mr.,. Mehernosh Fitter  has kindly volunteered to help in this  process. His experience , connections can be very helpful for swift, seamless clearance . If you need to contact him he can be reached at Mumbai @ 2412 2999 OR CELL 98201 57534 FAX; 2416 2886   email:   He has received  consigned bodies at Sahar airport in the past and helped clear them with family members.  
C) M/s Kashmira Rao has kindly consented to volunteer   to help out with the coordinating process .She can be reached at Mumbai cell 91- 9833199985 e-mail: ilg@vsnl.netu
5 Clearing the body :
Since volunteers have kindly consented to take care of this detail, please advise family members to contact and thoroughly  plan the procedure with them . It involves clearing the body with customs and health department, making statements at Sahar airport police station who may ask to open the coffin and site the corpse,  making a panchnama and obtaining a no objection certificate. Police, Customs , Health, Doongerwadi all need copies of relevant documents.    It must be stressed to  family members that planning saves a lot of time  to consign to Doongerwadi .
The whole process with proper planning and coordination  takes about six days from US .
Mrs. Silloo Mehta of California has always helped out in these matters . From  US you may contact her at
949-551-5252 .
You are also welcome to get in touch with
Please do not impose any financial requests/obligations to any of the volunteers above.

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