Vrindavan: The marriage of a young widow was solemnised in presence of around 500 widows at the historic 400-year-old Gopinath temple here on Monday evening. The event was sponsored by Sulabh International, an NGO working for sanitation and widows. Bride Vinita Devi was a widow from Uttarakhand who lost her husband in the 2013 Kedarnath flash floods, and bridegroom Rakesh is from the temple town of Vrindavan.
Vinita Devi (23) is a mother of two and was trapped at her in-laws house in Devlidhani village in Rudraprayag district for two months after the natural disaster. She later left for her native village Kamodi in the same district to take care of her ailing mother but could not make the ends meet.
“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,” Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of Sulabh International, told IANS.
Over 500 widows from different ashrams in Vrindavan attended the marriage as part of Diwali celebrations. Sulabh has taken the initiative for the welfare of widows after the Supreme Court’s intervention a few years ago.
Every widow is given Rs 2,000 per month by the NGO which takes care of their health and other needs and takes measures. The NGO has provided the government-run shelters in Vrindavan five well-equipped ambulances for providing timely and adequate medical assistance to those living there.