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Parsis Turn to Solar Power to Dispose of Their Dead

on 2001/7/21 9:47:02 ( 1245 reads )


BOMBAY, INDIA, JULY 18, 2001: The Parsi community of Bombay -- who leave their dead out in the open to be consumed by vultures -- have turned to science to aid them in their centuries-old ritual. The Bombay Parsi council has installed giant solar reflectors to speed-up the process of decomposition of corpses because there are not enough vultures around to consume the bodies. It is against the Parsis' Zoroastrian faith to either bury, burn or drown their dead. So the Parsi dead are disposed of by keeping the body in a "Tower of Silence." These large cylindrical towers are where the dead are left to be consumed by birds of prey. Because the vulture population has declined in numbers, apparently due to some kind of environmental poisoning, the bodies are left lying around for much longer. Although the solar reflectors have been successful, the long-term solution to the problem is the building of an aviary, where vultures will be bred in captivity.

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