Floral offerings at Vrindavan, Mathura temples to be used to empower widows | india news | Hindustan Times
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Floral offerings at Vrindavan, Mathura temples to be used to empower widows

For the widows who live a life in the shadows and survive largely on charity, the Supreme Court order gives them a chance to earn a living.

india Updated: Mar 27, 2018 20:45 IST
HT Correspondent
Widows hold lit diyas during Diwali celebrations at Kesi Ghat on the banks of the Yamuna river in Vrindavan.
Widows hold lit diyas during Diwali celebrations at Kesi Ghat on the banks of the Yamuna river in Vrindavan.(AFP FILE PHOTO)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed temples in Mathura and Vrindavan to donate all flowers offered to them to shelter homes for widows and destitute women in a bid to improve the livelihood of such women in the two cities.

The apex court said women in these shelter homes run by the Uttar Pradesh government can use the flowers to make incense sticks and organic colours to earn their livelihood.

The court ordered all the temples located in the two cities to deposit the flowers only with the shelter homes for widows and destitute which would also prevent them from dumping them in the Yamuna river.

“This mechanism will also help to keep Yamuna clean and also generate employment for the widows,” a bench of justices MB Lokur and Deepak Gupta told state’s additional advocate general Aishwarya Bhati when she placed the proposal before it.

The court appreciated the state’s effort and also asked the Union ministry of women and child development (WCD) to extend the scheme to all major temple towns such as Puri, Tirupati and Varanasi for the welfare of widows.

The top court also asked the UP government to carry out an inspection of all its shelter homes of Vrindavan to examine and ascertain the status of the buildings there. The SC has been hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) on the plight of widows living in Vrindavan. Subsequent to the petition the top court had given extensive guidelines to improve their living conditions. It then extended the scope of the PIL and went on to monitor the functioning of widow shelter homes in other states.

On Tuesday, the court also directed all states to provide details of shelter homes being run, number of widows and destitute women residing in these homes as well as the schemes in place for the welfare of these women to the Union ministry of women and child development so that the functioning of the schemes can be monitored.