Sockalingam Sam Kannappan

Professional Engineer


Sockalingam Sam Kannappan would like to give some guidlines to people who he may not have met or will he meet again. It is the satisfaction that some one received the benefit is important.

Kannappan would like to explain some guidelines in simple words so that every one can understand.

About Me

Hi, I am a registered Professional Engineer in Texas with over twenty-five years of experience in design, analysis, and software development for the petrochemical, refinery, and pipeline industries more


by Sam Kannappan P.E.,
Houston, the organizer of Patients Hospitality Committee at University of Houston in late sixties

In 1968, performing last rites for the Indians who passed away was not known in USA. From 1971, the Patients Hospitality committee at the University of Houston gained valuable experience when a few heart patients died in Houston. Guidelines to cremate the body and in some rare cases for transporting the body to India were set up. This procedure was used for many years through out USA.


When an Indian Hindu faith passes away, some close friend should make a check list of action items to do the following:

  • Comfort the family, inform other relatives, arrange for the immediate needs of the family.
  • Negotiate a price with a Funeral Home who would arrange for a memorial service and cremation, both possibly in the same location.
  • Cremation permit application needs to be signed by next of kin. If immediate family is not available, contact Indian Embassy or the Consulate
  • Arrange for a religious ceremony at the funeral home through a temple. In locations where service by a priest is not available, selected versus from Bhavad Gita could be read by an elder and son on the deceased could start the furnace.
  • Collect and mail the ashes to India for immersion in Holy rivers. Sprinkling in US water body should be checked first.
  • Set up support system to assist the family.
  • Transporting the remains to India is difficult process.It is advisable to cremate the body in USA rather than transporting the body to India due to many difficulties. But if transporting the body is the only option, a close friend should follow the following guidelines:
  • Inform the Indian Embassy or Indian Consulate and request assistance. Have information about the deceased ready such as full name, age, location of death, funeral home which will be handling the transportation, airport in India etc. Pl see guidelines from the Indian Consulate below.
  • Negotiate price with a funeral home for properly embalming the body, suitable casket, taking to US airport with all paper work.
  • Funeral home will be able to get documentation from the Indian Consulate and from Local city / County etc.

From Honorable K.P. Pillai, Consul, Indian Consulate, Houston:

Kindly recall our conversation regarding the formalities for dispatch of mortal remains in the event of death of an Indian national here. The requirement for registration of death and issue of No Objection Certificate is attached (pl see below). You may also like to advise that in case of death due to accident, suicide, criminal assault etc. the Police may also be informed for investigation. Similarly, the employer of the deceased should also be approached for assistance and settlement of dues etc. by the next of kin.

Regards, ( K.P. Pillai ) Consul 28.9.2006

Registration of Death & No Objection Certificate to carry dead body/ashes

In the event of death of an Indian national, relative/ friend and if the next of kin wishes to carry either body or ashes back home to India, the following documents are required to be submitted to the Indian Consulate along with the application [Miscellaneous Service Form to be filled in requesting for the issue of a No Objection Certificate. The Form should have details of the deceased and signed by the person submitting the application along with the copy of his passport]. The following documents are also required to be submitted along with the application:

  • Death Certificate issued by the local authorities in original, with one photo copy (It is advisable to get at least 10 additional copies attested for future use).
  • Burial / Cremation Certificate (for carrying ashes) or embalming certificate (for carrying body) in original with one copy;
  • A Certificate from a Medical Officer stating that the deceased was not suffering from any contagious diseases;
  • Indian Passport of the deceased [In case of US/Foreign national of Indian origin, only copy of US/Foreign Passport is required].
The first three Certificates (a, b and c) will be attested, the Passport (d) cancelled and returned along with a No Objection Certificate. All these documents are to be carried by the person accompanying / carrying the body/ashes.
Fee: Cancellation of Indian Passport of the deceased Registration of Death and issue of Death Certificatein case of Indian citizen:

Attestation of Documents:
10.00 per each copy
Return Mailing Charge:

Honorable K.P. Pillai is Deputy Consul General at Indian Consulate, Houston, USA