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Vrindavan widows to gift herbal gulal to PM

While the traditional Holi is hogging the limelight in Braj region these days, a celebration at Gopinath temple in Vrindavan stood apart on Tuesday – the widows of Vrindavan played Holi here for the sixth consecutive year breaking a tradition that forced them to lead the life of a recluse.

lucknow Updated: Feb 28, 2018 15:00 IST
HT Correspondent 
HT Correspondent 
Hindustan Times, Agra
Vrindavan,Holi,Prime Minister
Widows celebrating Holi at Gopinath Temple in Vrindavan.

While the traditional Holi is hogging the limelight in Braj region these days, a celebration at Gopinath temple in Vrindavan stood apart on Tuesday – the widows of Vrindavan played Holi here for the sixth consecutive year breaking a tradition that forced them to lead the life of a recluse.

It was a riot of colours as hundreds of women clad in spotless white sarees came out of the ashrams to sprinkle colours and gulal on each other in the revered temple.

They also prepared herbal gulal, which lies filled in 11 earthen pots waiting to be handed over to the authorities at the Prime Minister’s residence in New Delhi on Wednesday, said Madan Jha, spokesperson for Sulabh International – the organisation that organised Holi for these widows.

Five widows from Vrindavan will reach Delhi along with the earthen pots containing herbal gulal and choicest sweets meant for their ‘brother’ - Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“We accepted Prime Minister Narendra Modi as our brother and we have arranged special gulal for him this year,” stated one of the widows, Manu Ghosh, 95.

‘It’s love from thousands of widow sisters to brother Modi and is also a symbol of freedom from age-old restrictions,” said Kanak Prabha, 81, who revealed that five of the widows from Vrindavan would go to official residence of PM in Delhi to hand over ‘gulal’ on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, a large number of elderly widows living in various ashrams of Vrindavan appeared in a festive mood as they gathered at one of the oldest Krishna temples in the crowded Gopinath Bazaar in Vrindavan.

“The Holi celebration is an attempt to add a dash of colour to the otherwise insipid lives of the Vrindavan widows who earlier used to live the life of a recluse, having been deserted by their families,” stated Bindeshwar Pathak, a sociologist and founder of Sulabh International.

First Published: Feb 28, 2018 15:00 IST