KOLLAM : QR codes have become an integral part of our daily lives, seamlessly weaving into various sectors such as shops, restaurants, hospitals, and educational institutions. However, in the quaint village of Valakom in Kollam, a QR code and website link have made their way to an unexpected place: the gravestone of a 22-year-old woman, Akhila, at the Mar Thoma Valiyapally.
In a poignant tribute to their late daughter, who died of a fever, Reji and Mini have taken a unique step by placing a QR code and website link on her grave.
This innovative memorial allows anyone to access valuable information about Akhila -- including photographs, videos, achievements, and social media links -- by simply scanning the QR code.
“Our daughter left us unexpectedly in December 2022, leaving behind hopes and dreams. She was our darling, and her absence will linger forever. As we marked her first death anniversary in December 2023, we decided to honour her memory by placing a QR code and website link on her grave. This is our expression of love and affection for her. In the coming days, we will upload more information, such as photos and videos of her,” said her mother, Mini.
The couple had to obtain special permission from the regional head office of the Mar Thoma Kottarakkara-Punalur diocese to place the QR code, as the Mar Thoma Church traditionally only permits the inclusion of the departed person’s name and dates of birth and death on gravestones.
“With God’s grace, we received the necessary approval from the head of the diocese,” Mini said.
Despite not being a customary practice within the Mar Thoma Church, officials with the Valiyapally acknowledged the sensitivity of the situation and have not objected to the inclusion of the QR code on the gravestone.
Rev P J Mamachan, the priest at the church, said: “Placing a QR code, photos, and website link on a gravestone is not allowed in our community. However, because of the emotional and sensitive nature of this case, people have not objected. While such practices are not typical within our community, individuals may choose to follow their own preferences.”