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After civil marriage, widow opts for traditional wedding to fight social stigma

Over 500 widows in Vrindavan are expected to attend Vinita’s marriage as part of Diwali celebrations.

lucknow Updated: Oct 15, 2017 09:39 IST
Gaurav Saigal
Gaurav Saigal
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Widow remarriage,Religious ceremony,Social stigma
Vinita Devi shopping in Old Delhi ahead of her marriage in Vrindavan.(HT Photo)

A young widow who tied the knot a second time in a civil ceremony in 2014 will now go through the motions of marriage all over again – this time in a religious ceremony in Vrindavan on Monday ‘to overcome resistance from society’ to her marital status.

Her marriage will be solemnised at Gopinath Temple on Monday after which she will move to Tilwada in Uttarakhand with her husband who is a driver.

After losing her first husband in one of the country’s worst natural disasters in Kedarnath in June 2013, Vinita Devi (23), a mother of two, remained confined to her in-laws house in Devlidhanigram in Rudraprayag district for two months.

She later left for her native village Kamodi in the same district.

“As my mother was ill, I returned to my home but soon realised how difficult life is for a widow,” Vinita told HT.

“A year later I started living with a man, Rakesh Kumar. We got our marriage registered in the court but we did not get social acceptance,” she added.

Resistance from the society, however, gave her courage. She decided to tie the nuptial knot with Rakesh in accordance with all Hindu religious and social customs.

“My mother will attend the marriage for sure. I hope all my relatives come,” said Vinita, who went shopping for her marriage in Old Delhi. She also has a brother.

Sulabh International which works for the welfare of widows in the country is organising the marriage.

“Her marriage before the community is not just an act of courage but a learning that women’s life does not end if she is left alone due to some reason,” said Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of Sulabh International .

“Vinita is educated till class 8 and is not employed as of now. We will try to provide her some vocational training so that she can contribute financially to her family and develops confidence,” Pathak said.

“Being a widow is not the end of life. This is the only message that thousands of widows want to give to the society,” he added.

Over 500 widows from different ashrams in Vrindavan are expected to attend the marriage as part of Diwali celebrations.

“Every woman has the right to live her life as per her wish. If a widow wants to remarry, no one should stop her. This will be a great Diwali for us,” said Manu Ghosh, 90, a widow living at an ashram in Vrindavan.

First Published: Oct 15, 2017 09:39 IST