The increasing population of Indian Americans in the United States has naturally led to an corresponding increase in the number of elders dying of natural and other causes, necessitating the need for funerals which are carried out in line with Hindu, Sikh and Jain traditions. Although these traditions and last rites are dictated by religion, the immediate family almost never plans for it, and is left scrambling at the last minute.

Even highly educated professionals have scant knowledge of how to go about the last rites so that the departed are afforded their last vestige of dignity. Often, the family has to make a quick decision on the funeral rites, when they are already weighed down by grief and emotional stress. Such uninformed decisions made in haste leads to a waste of money while not adequately meeting the demands of dignity for the departed soul. If prudent decisions were made, the money saved could be given to the surviving family or to charity.

The Asian Cremation USA, a not for profit organization was founded to meet this urgent need. Dedicated volunteers help cut down the cost of the Final Farewell for one’s near and dear ones. The organization has negotiated an Indian Cremation Package with about 14 selected funeral homes which have their own attached crematorium, located in metropolitan Chicago and the suburbs. (Details of these funeral homes along-with all-inclusive prices for the funerals are listed on www.AsianCremationUSA.org and also in a booklet distributed free to members of the community.) Also included on the website and the booklet is other information like the contact details of priests, Pujaris, Sikh Granthis, florists etc. It also lists a check- list of funeral arrangement, ingredients needed for the religious rites, requirements to obtain death certificate, a list of volunteers FAQs etc