Thrown out of their homes, these widows get to stay at a home in Vrindavan where they spend most of the time doing kirtan and begging. Many of them have been lured by their children and family into leaving their house to go to Vrindavan in the ‘name of God’.
With no money, these women – most of whom are from the hinterland – end up at the mercy of landlords who force them to beg and earning money. In return for the money they earn from begging, the landlords provide them with a minimum amount for their living. About 6,000 widows are residing there, a majority of whom are from West Bengal.
The land of lord Krishna, Vrindavan is considered as a holy place for Hindus. But the conditions in which these women are forced to live shed light on how poorly they are treated by their families. No one knows why so many widows come here, but it has been so for centuries and no steps have been taken to stop this atrocity.
But with the help of NGO’s like Sulabh International, their founder Dr Bindeshwar Pathak has taken an initiative to help and promote a better life for the widows. Today, breaking all traditions, they are allowed to come out and burn crackers enjoy Diwali. Out of thousands, few are fortunate and many are slashed in the hardships of daily life.
CNBC-TV18 takes you through the daily lives of Vrindavan widows.