Ever watered the dream house with blood and sweat. Considering the children to be the support of old age, they were brought up lovingly, but after the death of their husbands, they became estranged on their own. The child began to feel a burden for two times. Tired of the troubled life, some widows left all themselves and came to Vrindavan, while some children forcibly left Vrindavan with the cry of salvation. The story of the disintegration of their lives may be different, but the pain of the destitute widow and old women living in Vrindavan is the same. On International Widow’s Day, read the ground report of Bhaskar Woman from Vrindavan…
I was standing on the road leading to Banke Bihari in Vrindavan at 6 in the morning. The number of pilgrims on the road was less and there were more widows. Widow women, wearing light-coloured sari, garland of Tulsi around their neck, sandalwood tilak on their forehead and sacks on their shoulders, were walking fast. When asked by stopping some women, it came to know that the gates of Bhajan Ashram are closed at 7 o’clock. Before that, even while visiting the temple, they have to go, so they are in a hurry. Bhaskar Woman’s team reached many old age ashrams including Krishna Kutir, Mahila Ashray Sadan and interacted with widowed women.
Rights are taken away as soon as the husband leaves the world
Jharna Sen, 65, who lives in an ashram in Vrindavan, hails from Kolkata, West Bengal. She belongs to a well-to-do family. Son is an engineer. Jharna tells that if my husband is not there, then I have no right at home. Son and daughter-in-law kept worse than others. It was not allowed to spend a single penny from home. Pension used to come, that too was stopped. Tired of living life, had to leave the house. In the meantime, there is a sore throat. She remains silent for a few minutes and then starts telling- ‘Krishna reached the city after asking people. Lived at Mathura station for 7 years. By begging, he could hardly get food for two times. Leg broken. Somehow I reached the ashram here, I have been living here since then.
Supreme Court’s decision changed lives
A petition was filed in the Supreme Court regarding the funeral of a widow after her death in 2012 in Vrindavan. The court ordered to ensure proper funeral rites after the death of widows. Along with this, the responsibility of taking care of widows was entrusted to Sulabh International Organization. Vinita Dixit, who works on Sulabh International’s Widow Project, says that the organization started many programs to bring widows into the mainstream of the society and improve their conditions.
Accessible organization filling the life of widows
The organization started giving ration, clothes and rupees per month to the women living in Vrindavan government and private ashrams. Forced to sleep on the road and beg, the women were taken to the shelter home. Started ambulances and health facilities for widows. Started celebrating Holi-Diwali. Widows were taken to attend the Kumbh Mela in Prayagraj and Durga Puja in Kolkata. In addition, initiated the initiative to remarry young widowed women.
Government system for widows in Vrindavan
In the year 2014, the Uttar Pradesh government started giving pension to widows. According to Geeta Dixit, the director of Mahila Aashray Sadan, every month Rs 1850, 35 kg ration and free accommodation have been arranged by the Women’s Welfare Department to the widowed women living in the ashram. Also, Rs 1000 is available separately as widow pension. Apart from this, a lot of stuff is also available in charity. The doctor’s team comes here twice a week for a checkup.
There is a lot of pain, yet there is no puffiness on the face..
These women faced the brunt of social discrimination for years and years. Saw the beating of time and the indifference of loved ones. To fill his stomach, he had to beg. Praying. For doing bhajan in Bhajan Ashram, few rupees would be received, but for this the hands and feet of the priests had to be attached so that their number could come in the bhajan-kirtan. Despite all this, the mouth only chants Radhe-Radhe. Not a word of complaint speaks. They also blame their fate for every pain they face in life.
Now this is our family..
Don’t miss family? In response to this, Lakshmi Ghosh of Odisha says that people used to beat and beat there. No one was honest. Who gives food there? I am happy here. At the same time, Ambika Mukherjee says that this family of ours is better than the family of the house. Can’t remember the family anymore. There is a big family here. Damodar Dasi of Nepal who has been living in Vrindavan for 6 years says that we are happy here. Sometimes I miss. When you then engage in service, you forget.