PRAYAGRAJ: Have you ever thought of investing in your own funeral? Well, it looks like you can now.
An NGO in Prayagraj is offering a bond, called ‘Retirement India Sunset Deposit’, to handle funerals and last rites of the investor.
The plan has been floated by city-based Retirement India Foundation (RIF) that works for the welfare of senior citizens and has launched many schemes tailormade for their needs. Among their flagship schemes are a Re 1 lunch canteen launched for retired people and an agency that provides security to lonely senior citizens at nominal rates.
A brainchild of Raaj Gulati, a former senior government official who runs the NGO, the bond would be of Rs 21,000 and for a period of five years.
The bond is being introduced under the supervision of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry and will be introduced this month itself with a pilot project of having 10,000 investors across the country.
The NGO has tied up with a renowned banker and an insurance company too.
The investor (above the age of 18) would nominate three individuals (friends, family or any other acquaintance who he or she thinks will take care of performing the last rites). One of them would be tasked to inform the NGO in the event of the investor’s death. Following this, an amount of Rs 19,000 would be transferred into the account of any one of the three nominees. The NGO would ensure that the last rites are performed according to customs.
“In addition to this, an amount of Rs 50,000, which is a life insurance cover on investor’s life and being provided by an NGO along with Sunset Deposit, would be given to the nominee within next ten days to take care of other post-death rituals,” says Gulati.
“We have started the process of setting up a 24X7 call centre/helpline and payment process for that purpose,” he added.
If it remains unutilized in five years (well, if you live on), an amount of Rs 25,000 will be given back to the investor and they may reinvest in the bond afresh.
The idea was first shared with the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, New Delhi, in a Last Rites EXCON (first such conference in India) on November 30. Gulati’s elder son, Saaransh, an IITian and MIT alumnus who works in the US, assisted him on the project.
“It applies to anyone else as it does to us. My brother and I live in the US and our father lives here. If something happens to him, and god forbid we cannot make it in time; that’s the thought that went into finalizing the details of the scheme. At the core of this bond is care,” said Saaransh.

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