Sunday, September 16, 2012

132. Vrindavan widows

Recent media reports about the condition of widows living in Vrindavan should jolt any civilized society. Thousands of them are living at this pilgrimage centre in Uttar Pradesh, quietly waiting for death. Abandoned by their own, they came to Vrindavan in search of food and shelter. They beg, live in dilapidated shelters and sing bhajans for paltry amounts. Courtesy pilgrims who visit Vrindavan in large numbers every year, they are able to survive. But their life is worse than death. The conditions in which they live are totally unhygienic. There are no clean toilets and no medical facilities. Many of them live like prisoners with care-takers of shelter homes behaving like jail wardens. The donation collected in their names is pocketed by unscrupulous elements. Often, the paltry sum they earn is snatched away. In many cases, when they die, there is no one to perform the last rites and give them a decent send-off. Their bodies are packed in gunny bags and thrown in the river.

The Supreme Court has taken notice of their condition and passed directions for their medical care and well being. Institutions like National Commission of Women have come forward to plan for their shelter. One hopes and prays that their condition will improve. 

What struck me the most is that the widows who go back home for emotional or other reasons are turned away. Happy to have got rid of them in the first place, their relatives are in no mood to undo the wrong. There is no sign of any pity or remorse. In their homes, they are abused and not offered food. No surprise that many of them return to Vrindavan, taking a vow not to go back to their homes. They have little choice. They find Vrindavan much better than their homes.

In the years to come, we may require shelter for many more people in Vrindavan. Who knows, many of them who show their back to their parents today, may need to come to Vrindavan some day.

5 comments:

Indrani said...

I have never been to this place, but whenever I hear or read about I feel so sad. Why are the people of our like this? So depressing.

Bikramjit said...

I PRAY that those who showed their back to their parents , ALso need to go through the same ..

its disgusting indeed

Bikram's

R. Ramesh said...

very touching and distressing..

Margaret said...

It's so sad to hear about such inhuman conditions.

Can really only hope and pray that it changes soon.

Sujit Agarwal said...

IT'S SO SAD. I AM SHOCKED TO READ THIS.
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