Funeral held for well-known Walsall couple who died three weeks apart
The lives of a well-known couple who died within three weeks of each other were celebrated as their funeral was held.
Hari Krishan Bhanot, aged 83, and wife Tripta Bhanot, 86, were prominent members of the Hindu community in Walsall and died within 21 days of each another in May.
Friends and family came out to pay their respects on Saturday as a cortege featuring a dhol drummer and two horse-drawn carriages made its way from Pleck to Sandwell Crematorium.
Floral tributes were laid to the much-loved couple, and members of the community lined Sheridan Street to pay their respects and celebrate their lives.
The couple had lived in Pleck for more than 50 years but were originally from the Punjab in India - Hari from a village called Bundala and Tripta from a village called Sasoli - and met through an arranged marriage.
They were from a family of pawnbrokers.
Hari moved to Walsall on August 29, 1963 alongside his brothers and other residents of his village in search of a better life for himself and his family, and Tripta followed him in February 1965.
The couple had always lived in their home in Sheridan Street which they bought for £2,000 and went on to have two children, and four grandchildren, Meera, Geeta, Arjun and Suraj.
Being fluent in English, Hari helped many fellow immigrants establish themselves in the UK and become well established in the community while working as an engineer at Bradley Foster in Walsall.
In 1969 Hari and Tripta founded the first Hindu temple in Birmingham, Geeta Bhawan Hindu Temple in Heathfield Road, in a former church building.
Meera Bhanot, granddaughter and Hindu Brahmin funeral director, explained: "Granddad loved Walsall and laid his roots and legacy there, he helped people more than he would ever know.
"Grandma and granddad used to go to the temple each week and cook homemade meals for all of the families. Grandma used to say 'there is not a single Hindu family who has not eaten from my fair hand.'
"Granddad would also go back to India and give food to the village to give thanks to them as he recognised he had left for a better life and there were people there who were less fortunate. He even went over to help conduct a family's wedding.
"After he passed his driving test, he hung up the keys and always got the bus. Each day he would travel to Wednesbury first thing, buy Express & Star and read it over breakfast.
"They have had a massive impact on so many people and known and loved by everyone, granddad would always give people advise, he was a pillar of support.
"They lived a long and good life, they will always be together, what they had was real love."
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