In May 2022, Chuna bhai Valmiki — in Dekavada village in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad district — died of a heart attack. His sons Rajesh and Sanjay waded through neck-deep water to perform his last rites at a place which is supposed to be a crematorium for the Dalit community in the village.

“Do you see anything even remotely resembling a crematorium here?” asked Sanjay, as he looked at a barren piece of land on the outskirts of Dekavada, five km away from their house.

In Dekavada, Sanjay said, people from different castes go to different crematoriums.

“The Thakores, Patels, Desais, and the Dalits — all have separate crematoriums here. Those (crematoriums) belonging to the dominant castes are well-kept whereas those belonging to the Dalits are in a miserable state,” he told The Quint.

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