Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Spending Time with the Widows in Vrindavan

Widows of Radha Kund

Yesterday we headed to Maitri's home for abandoned widows in Radha Kund. It was about a four hour drive from Delhi and well worth it. As we drove closer to the home, we could see some of the city's widows begging alongside the streets. It was heartbreaking and I could already see why Maitri works so hard to help these women. Eventually we came to the home and were greeted by the women singing devotional hymns. Most of the women spoke only Bengali, but it certainly didn't stop them from talking to us! Some of them showed us where they slept and where they kept their belongings. A few had some really beautiful religious keepsakes or posters of Krishna hanging near their beds. After speaking with them for a little while we helped serve them lunch, handing out a banana to each woman. The women are provided a mid-day meal each day and fruit three times per week through Maitri. Without Maitri's assistance, most of these women would be left to beg and starve. I was such a small part of the day, but I felt so privileged to be able to even hand out lunch.

Gen. Bhopinder Singh and U.S. Ambassador Catherine Russell

While we were at Radha Kund, we were also able to meet U.S Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues, Cathy Russell! She came to learn more about the plight of widows in India and spoke with the General about what Maitri is doing to help alleviate some of their suffering. It was such an honor to meet her and something I won't be forgetting!

Future Home of Maitri's Home for Abandoned Widows

Shortly after we left Radha Kund we arrived at the building site for Maitri's new home for abandoned widows. The structure will be able to house 100 widows and is hoped to be finished around the 20th of March! This home will go a long way in providing better care and shelter for the widows of Vrindavan.

Also, there were monkeys, puppies, and piglets everywhere. I loved it.

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