To mark ‘World Widows Day’ on Tuesday, hundreds of widows from Vrindavan and Varanasi made a fresh appeal to the Prime Minister to ensure introduction of a bill for their welfare and protection.
The widows at Vrindavan gathered at a shelter home in Vrindavan under the aegis of NGO, Sulabh International and demanded introduction of the bill during the monsoon session of Parliament.
Manu Ghosh, 92 of West Bengal, for whom Vrindavan has become a second home for several decades, hoped that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would pay attention towards widows. “We would approach the PM to take measures for the welfare of widows who are living in Vrindavan and Varanasi,” said Ghosh.
Vrindavan is home to thousands of widows from West Bengal and their condition was pitiable till the Supreme Court intervened and NGO, Sulabh International took up the task to improve their condition and took charge of such widows living in six government-run ashrams.
Founder of Sulabh Inter national, Bindeshwar Pathak recently prepared a draft bill for the protection of widows in the country.The document states that there are millions of unfortunate women in India who lose their husbands untimely and their number is nearly 3% of the total population.
Over 50% of these widows are unwell, old and disabled with no source of income. The document also proposes to set up a welfare board to exclusively look after the neglected, abandoned and destitute widows.
Pathak plans to meet the Prime Minister to push the draft bill for introduction in Parliament. To highlight the equalities, International Widow Day (June 23) was officially recognised at a New York-based conference at UN in 2011.