Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Destitute of Widows

Some topics although might sounds to have taken a halt but still are regressive. It was back in the year 1829 when a draconian act like Sati was outlawed under the British Raj in the Bengal Presidency with the help of social reformer Raja Ram Mohan Roy, but still violence against widow has not stopped. In 1997, The Indian Sati Prevention Act was enforced which criminalized any type of aiding, abetting, and even the glorifying of sati practice.

But is that it with widow ladies?

Widows still do not hold much of positive position in India. You must be wondering if what I am saying has any factual backing to it. Maybe at your home you might be taking good care of your grandma but that doesn’t nullifies the social stigma that still exists across the country. With 69 percent of country’s population still under the cover of rural society, this topic needs wider scope of vision for helping the soul who has already lost her most protective mate. One thing I want to say is:

She has just lost her protective soulmate…

Is shunning out of the home her ultimate fate…

I was browsing around the net when I came across this story. Vrindavan, holiest among India’s holy city has more than 15000 widows who have been shunned out of their house because she is a widow (Source: National commission for women). These widows have been turned out by their kith and kin because their children are grown up enough to take care of themselves and do not need the caring hand which taught them the steps to grow. After getting thrown out, these widows were left with nothing but to beg on the streets for food and shelter. Yes, most of the old, lanky women we see in the traffic signals are not those who are the part of the traffic signal beggar’s forum but are those who have been left in destitute and genuinely need help to live. The condition was similar until some NGO by the name Maitri came into picture to help them by providing them shelter, medical assistance, food and proper sanitation. Also Maitri launched a new phase of its work with destitute and abandoned widows in Vrindavan – it started a program to provide nutritious midday meals to about 150 women at a new location, Jagannath Mandir. The NGO also helped them in getting the widow pension. Well appreciated work by the NGO but why an NGO has to come into role for helping someone who once used to be your sweet mother. Immolating has stopped but now the way the widows are treated in various corners of the country is far worse than immolation.

Mind it, shunning out is not just the only way of leaving the widow. Even in the society we stay we do not pay much attention to widows and we are so busy in our lives that widows are left on their own. We are quite busy in our lives and we move with the society and technology, they do not. All they know is that their children are happy somewhere. Often widows make irritating comments because they feel neglected. Wonder of a situation when you are house arrested and nobody talks to you. They do not have their husband to talk to. When youth is busy with their wife and children, it infests a pain of solitude which makes them make foul comments. Human emotions. Jealousy. Whatever you may define.

If you find any old women who is in need of help, do not just ignore them. Kindly redirect them to some NGO. Even I do not know much of NGOs but since the story I mentioned was of Maitri foundation, you can connect to them through their 

For more updates on the intern, get connected at twitter handle: @subramanian1190.

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