Vrindavan widows celebrate Diwali
Like in the past years, widows living in various ashrams of Vrindavan celebrated Diwali this year too on the Yamuna banks there on Tuesday. Maintaining social distancing, around hundred widows gathered at historic Kesi ghat on the Yamuna river in Vrindavan and lit colourful “diyas” (earthen lamps) and made “Rangoli”. They also chanted Krishna bhajans and danced to celebrate the occasion.
“This is the ninth year in a row when widows participated in the celebration of lights. This programme was organised by Sulabh Hope Foundation under social reformer Dr Bindeshwar Pathak. Earlier, as per Hindu tradition, these widows were not allowed to take part in any such rituals and were treated as inauspicious,” said Vinita Verma, vice president, of Sulabh Hope Foundation.
“Thousands of widows, mostly from West Bengal, have been living in Vrindavan for decades,” added Verma. One of the widows, Manu Ghosh, said, “Motivated by the series of revolutionary initiatives, widows are now happy and enjoying their stay in Vrindavan.”
With the aim of bringing a ray of happiness in the lives of these widows, social reformer Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of Sulabh Movement, came up with this idea to organise the festival of lights, especially for the widows living in various ashrams in Vrindavan and Varanasi in 2012, claimed the organisers.
“On a routine basis, Sulabh provides them medical facilities and vocational training besides meeting their day-to-day needs so that they do not feel left out during the twilight years of their lives,” said Vinita Verma.