Posted by & filed under Articles, In the Press, Uttar Pradesh.

Vrindavan Feb 24 (IANS) Hundreds of widows of Vrindavan, who have lived a life of penury, earning a meagre 5 rupees each day for singing early-morning bhajans at temples here, now have a life of dignity, thanks to non-governmental organisation Sulabh Interntional.

Sulabh, a leading campaigner for sanitation, has decided to take care of the basic needs of the Vrindavan widows, from food to healthcare.

Only six months ago, many widows, in their traditional white cotton saris, could be seen moving from temple to temple with begging bowls, chanting "Radhe, Radhe". Poor and malnourished, many of these women in the holy city of Lord Krishna were just skin and bone.

Things are changing, though, in a place that has earned a dubious reputation as a City of Widows.

"These days, you won't find old women at every nook and corner, except the few who cannot shake off old habits. Now, the widows spend their time in ashrams, no more begging on the streets. They watch TV and chant bhajans within their ashrams, where they are provided basic amenities," a resident of the city and music maestro Acharya Jaimini told IANS.

The change is thanks to the initiatives of Sulabh International, whose founder, Bindeshwar Pathak said Sunday that more than 800 widows have registered at the two government shelter homes; each of them will be given Rs.2,000 per month, for basic needs.

The initiative comes in the wake of a Supreme Court order of August 2012.

Justices D.K. Jain and Madan B. Lokur had directed the Uttar Pradesh government in August last year to ensure at least proper cremation and last rites for the 'Vrindavan widows', in keeping with their religious beliefs.

The bench also issued directions that the widows receive immediate relief, including proper food, regular visits from doctors of the Mathura civil hospital, and homes with adequate sanitation.

The apex court directed the centre to play a proactive role in the matter.

The apex court had suggested that International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKON) and NGO Sulabh International could be contacted to extend help to the 1,790-odd poor widows living in deplorable conditions in the four government shelters of Vrindavan.

"The idea is to ensure that widows living in the government-run shelters in Vrindavan should not be forced to beg or go to bed hungry," Bindeshwar Pathak told IANS, adding that Sulabh had decided that a sum of Rs.2,000 would be given to each of these widows a month.

The money would be paid by Sulabh, which has been paying the widows Rs.1,000 each per month since last year.

The apex court had expressed shock that the bodies of two widows who had died at the government homes were chopped and the pieces put into gunny bags for disposal in the Yamuna, on the plea that there were inadequate funds for proper cremation rites.

Sulabh has also handed over five well-equipped ambulances for the exclusive use of the widows. The NGO has gifted the Vrindavan widow shelter homes medical equipment and television sets too.

The NGO also plans an education programme to restore the women's confidence. The widows have started learning Hindi, English and Bengali. The four widows who died at these homes since the NGO began its initiatives here last year were accorded final rites in accordance with Hindu custom.

Sulabh has also donated 50 sewing machines, and some women have begun to use these to earn a living. Besides, they also make Agarbatti (incense sticks) and flower garlands for sale.

Sulabh is renowned for freeing large numbers of people from the scourge of lifting night soil. "That experience came handy here," the 70-year-old Pathak, who launched Sulabh decades ago, said, explaining that people freed from toiling with night soil had been rehabilitated in some measure through education and vocational training.

"We are using our vast experience here in Vrindaban and want to see that the widows no longer live as an unwanted burden on the society," Pathak said.

Although Sulabh has taken up the initiative without much support, Pathak says: "We will approach the central as well as state governments and big corporate houses for help. The idea is to ensure a dignified life to the widows."

(Brij Khandelwal can be contacted at

Source :–Sulabh-comes-to-the-aid-of-Vrindavan-s-widows-.html

Posted by & filed under Articles, In the Press, Uttar Pradesh.

वृंदावन: सुलभ इंटरनेशनल ऑफ सोशल आर्गेनाइजेशन रविवार से आश्रय सदनों की विधवा-वृद्धाओं को आत्मनिर्भर बनाने का अभियान शुरू करेगा। संस्था के प्रमुख डॉ. बिंदेश्वरी पाठक निराश्रित महिलाओं के लिये बनी योजना का आगाज करेंगे।

संस्था के सेवक प्रियंक ने बताया, सुलभ टीम रविवार को पुराना पागल बाबा स्थित गली में चल रहे रास विहारी आश्रय सदन में समारोह आयोजित करेगी। इसमें चैतन्य विहार के प्रथम, द्वितीय चरण, रामानुज नगर, लीलाकुंज, रास विहारी आदि पांचों सदनों की महिलाओं को शामिल किया जाएगा। पाठक महिलाओं को रुचि के अनुसार सिलाई, कढ़ाई, बुनाई आदि की मशीनें सौपेंगे और हिंदी, बंगला भाषा एवं अंग्रेजी में उनको प्रशिक्षित करने के लिये टीचर भी तैनात करेंगे।

Source :

Posted by & filed under Articles, In the Press, Maharashtra.

WARDHA: Responding to the call of Sulabh sanitation movement's founder Bindeshwar Pathak, Wardha-based Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University (MGIHU) is introducing 'Sociology and Sanitation' in their curriculum. "It will be taught to sociology students from the next academic year commencing in June," vice-chancellor Vibhuti Narain Rai told TOI. He added that Pathak had recently given a presentation on this subject at their campus and MGIHU had felicitated him for his efforts.

Rai added that next academic year will witness a sea change in Vidarbha's only centrally-funded institution. "You will see more students coming to our campus as we will be starting ten new departments and one School of Education that will offer courses like BEd, MEd and PhD in the national language. Though BEd in Hindi is being imparted in some parts of Maharashtra, we will be first to offer MEd in that language," he said.

The new departments are – business management, history, political science, philosophy, sociology, music, painting, linguistics and English and Urdu. MGIHU is already running School of Translation and Interpretation, School of Language, School of Culture and School of Literature. "Various postgraduate courses, including MBA in Hindi, would be offered here. Earlier, we were conducting this course in distance education mode," Rai said adding they also planned to open a Marathi department that will end the language barrier.

"We will be making rapid strides in UGC's 12th plan and have contemplated about 30 new departments that will make this a most sought after destination. The buildings and required infrastructure for new departments and School of Education are in final stages and appointment of faculty and non-teaching staff would be made soon," the VC informed.

Currently, the university has nearly 1000 students, including those from abroad, but with the new departments, the number will swell to 2,500, Rai stated. "The construction of four boys' and one girls' hostels is in full swing. These are apart from our existing three hostels, including one for girls."

On plan to open a centre in Mauritius, Rai said proposal was pending with the HRD ministry. "We have made progress at our two sub-centres in Allahabad and Kolkata. In Allahabad, we identified the land while West Bengal government is yet to respond to our request for the same," he added.

The VC also stated that the university had opened a host of employment opportunities for the locals. "We have over 100 teaching and about 300 non-teaching staff and 43% of them are locals. We also have 61 staff quarters and a big guesthouse for about 150 guests. We also started our wing of National Social Services (NSS), which is doing commendable work in nearby villages. In ten years, we have definitely benefited the local community and helped in urbanization of the region," he concluded.

Varsity to launch Hindi encyclopaedia

The much awaited project social sciences encyclopaedia in Hindi will become a reality in the next session. Also, the university also plans to launch their unique Hindi dictionary. "It will be updated and enriched every year on the lines of Oxford or Cambridge dictionaries. Individual efforts were made to develop a Hindi dictionary so far. But we will make it at institutional level that would be updated from time to time. Every year, new words will be added while obsolete ones will be deleted. Abhay Kumar Dubey has been entrusted with the task of editing it," Rai informed. No major work on Hindi grammar has been done in recent past. With the funds under XII plan, the university plans to do research in this field too.

Source :

Posted by & filed under Articles, Delhi, In the Press.

In a major break from caste system constraints, some of India's Brahmins welcomed a group of India's lowest ranking members to join a Hindu ritual historically closed to them.

Hindus believe a dip in the waters where the Ganges, Yamuna, and mythical Saraswati rivers meet during India’s Kumbh Mela Hindu religious festival cleanses them of their past sins, giving them a clean slate and helping them attain salvation.

When a group of about 100 women from lowest rank of society, dalits – formerly known as “untouchables” or “manual scavengers” – took a bath at the sacred site, of itself an extremely rare if not unheard of event for members of their community, they came out of the water proclaiming that their low status as “untouchable” had been dissolved.

Dalits are known as one of the most discriminated against people in India, generally prohibited from even touching members of higher castes. They are not generally allowed to perform most Hindu rituals, including the Kumbh dip.

Yet, when the group emerged from their holy bath at the festival earlier this month, Hindu priests who belong to the highest Hindu caste, welcomed them to mainstream society by blowing conchs, chanting hymns, smearing holy ash on their forehead, and declaring that the women were no longer “untouchables.” It’s the biggest sign yet of changing attitudes about India’s outdated caste system, say experts.

“This Kumbh ceremony should be viewed as a bold and successful step toward the egalitarian inclusion of the downtrodden in the religio-social world of the Hindus,” says retired sociology professor Hetukar Jha pointing out the historical importance of the high caste Brahmins supporting the women.

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Swami Anand Giri, one of the 150 religious leaders present at the ceremony said that the “Liberation of the Untouchables,” marked a landmark day in Hindu history.

“Following the liberal tradition of Hinduism we welcome these sisters to our mainstream Hindu society today,” says Mr. Giri, who shared meals with the “just-liberated” women.

The Kumbh ceremony has had an overwhelming affect on the women from the scavenger community who, shunned by the high caste Hindus, are still marginalized. 

“Although 300 of us in (Rajsasthan’s) Alwar district left scavenging 10 years ago, most high caste Hindus around us view us as untouchables. They usually avoid all social interactions with us,” says former scavenger Laxmi Nanda who took the Kumbh cleansing dip.

“So, apart from announcing that we were no more untouchables, when the high caste Hindu leaders shared meals with us at the ceremony, to me it was an incredible experience,” says Ms. Nanda. “I felt I was re-born that day.”

The banned caste system

The caste system is the ancient Hindu system of social hierarchy defining a person's value and code of conduct based on social status inherited at birth.

Originally divided into four separate categories, with priests at the top and servants at the very bottom, the system has morphed throughout the past 2,000 years to include numerous sub-castes, each with its own traditions and levels of worth. While dalits are considered the lowest of the low, manual scavengers are considered the lowest subcategory among all dalits.

The Indian Constitution aimed to eliminate the caste system decades ago, starting out by banning the lowest rung of the system. However, particularly in villages, caste hierarchy continues to pervade daily life.

One way it is still seen is in the job of “manual scavenger,” which is a euphemism for those who, using a wire brush and iron pan, clean up and cart away human waste from non-flushing toilets.

Manual scavenging was specifically banned in 1993 in an effort to end what was seen as the inhumane forced labor of those who performed the hazardous and extremely low paid caste-based job. Yet, because of poor implementation of the law, tens of thousands of bucket toilets are in use across the country. So thousands of manual scavengers are still trapped in the work.

Better toilets, better life

The Kumbh cleansing ceremony for the former manual scavengers was organized by Sulabh International, an Indian social organization that – among other things – fights for elimination of manual scavenging in India. The organization developed an eco-friendly inexpensive toilet system that converts waste into dry fertilizers and bio-fuels, and is known as the "Sulabh toilet," named for the group.
In the past four decades Sulabh International has converted 1.3 million bucket toilets across the country and has helped rehabilitate 1 million manual scavengers into other jobs, said social activist and the organization’s founder Bindeshwar Pathak.
“By training and rehabilitating the former manual scavengers into other well-earning jobs we had helped upgrade their economic standard. Yet, the Hindu rituals remained taboo for them – they were not being accepted socially,” says Mr. Pathak.
“So, in an attempt to bridge the divide, some years ago we planned to take them to the Hindu temples where they had never been allowed before.”
Despite high caste resistance, the organization managed to take some former scavengers to a few temples for prayer in recent years.
“Then the Kumbh dip came on line. The ceremony there became incredibly successful with the unusually enthusiastic participation of high caste Hindu leaders,” says Pathak. "The Kumbh ceremony shows that the level of social acceptance of the community is rising.” 


However, not everyone believes that rituals like the Kumbh dip can help upgrade the social status of the former manual scavengers in their day-to-day lives.      
Social activist S. R. Darapuri called the Kumbh dip a “meaningless ritual."
“The high caste-dominated aggressively caste-ist society would continue to view them as untouchables even after those Kumbh rituals. The mindset of the mainstream society would not change in favor of the former scavengers that soon,” Mr. Darapuri says. “So, this Kumbh dip was nothing but a gimmick by the organizers.”
Activist and writer Madhu Kishwar agrees that it will take much more than the Kumbh dip to change perceptions across the country of 1.2 billion people, but applauded the organization’s efforts to remove manual scavenging.
“The stigma attached to manual scavenging vanishes fast when society creates proper sanitation systems and provides dignified working conditions along with good remuneration. There is no stigma attached to being a vacuum cleaner at a swanky airport,” says Ms. Kishwar, a fellow at New Delhi’s Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.
“Lifting human excreta from filthy latrines would invite stigma and low status anywhere in the world – not just in India.”

Source :

Posted by & filed under Articles, In the Press, Maharashtra.

Sulabh International, the sanitation NGO that provided farm widow Kalawati Rs 30-lakh aid a few years ago, is planning to train other such widows in Vidarbha in vocational skills.

Sulabh president Bindeshwar Pathak told the media here, "We will begin the programme next month.

"A major member of families of widows not in a position to train due to age or other problems will be included in the programme."

Pathak, who was recently at Hindi University, Wardha, for a seminar, said, "I have suggested introduction of `sociology of sanitation' at school and university levels for comprehensive appreciation of the highly important multi-dimensional problem and to solve it."

He said Sulabh had built over 13 lakh toilets in houses and about 8,000 public toilets.

"The governments have constructed over 5.4 crore toilets based on Sulabh designs. But sanitation still remains out of bounds for a majority of Indians who defecate in the open," Pathak said, adding, "The centuries-old belief that toilets should be built away from home is difficult to be eradicated. We have to make concerted efforts to change the mindset as also tackle issues such as poverty and shortage of funds for sanitation."

He said while the number of human scavengers had dropped from several lakhs to 55,000, there was a need to completely get rid of the inhuman practice.

Source :

Posted by & filed under Articles, In the Press, India.

A group of low caste 'manual scavengers' have been allowed to take a holy dip in the sacred Ganges River. But will that remove social stigma from the lives of India's untouchables?

Hindus believe a dip where the Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati rivers meet will cleanse them of their dirt and sins of the past and help them attain salvation. And for the first time, a group of people referred to as "manual scavengers," who are called that because they use wire brushes or shovels and iron pans to clean up and cart away feces from houses that still have bucket or non-flushing toilets, were welcomed by priests to bathe in the Ganges.

Manual scavengers, or toilet cleaners, are viewed as the lowest of the low caste Dalits and are considered to be "untouchables." They are shunned by powerful, high caste Hindus and are not usually allowed to perform such rituals as the Kumbh cleansing dip.

Yet last week, 100 women who used to clean toilets for a living bathed at the site of the Kumbh Mela near Allahabad last week. And afterward, high caste Hindu priests blessed them in ritualistic style, chanting hymns, blowing conchs and smearing them with holy ash.

More than 150 priests and religious leaders, who took part in the ceremony of "Liberation of the Untouchables" as it was called, announced that following the rituals the former manual scavengers were cleansed of all "dirt" of their past.

Maharaj Gajanand, a Hindu priest, believes the ceremony marked an important day in Hindu history.

"From today, these sisters will not be considered untouchable in our society," the priest told the media.

Social uplift

One of the liberated scavengers, Usha Chaumar, looked overwhelmed after the rituals.

"We have been forced to live as outcastes in society. In most cases, we are looked down upon by high caste people who don't socially interact with us," Chaumar, who comes from the Alwar city of the Rajasthan state, told DW.

"I could not believe it when top Hindu priests and community leaders shared meals with us. It felt like I had been reborn."

Chaumar started cleaning bucket toilets of upper caste Hindus when she was a child. But in 2003, she stopped working as a manual scavenger when the social organization Sulabh International offered her help. The organization develops eco-friendly and cheap underground toilet systems which convert human waste into fertilizers and bio fuels. These are known as sulabh toilets in India.

The organization has converted thousands of bucket toilets into sulabh and flush toilets in Alwar and has helped the city's 300 manual scavengers, including Chaumar, find other jobs. Chaumar started an apprenticeship at a Sulabh vocational center and later on became a tailor.

Sulabh International has converted 1.3 million dry toilets and has rehabilitated 1 million manual scavengers across the country in the past four decades, the organization claims.

"By converting bucket toilets and then rehabilitating former scavengers, we help upgrade their economic standard," social activist and founder of Sulabh International Social Service Organization Bindeswar Pathak told DW.

"We helped these people take part in religious rituals at the Kumbh festival. They feel dignified being part of the mainstream now."

'Once a scavenger, always a scavenger'

However, many believe that the social stigma attached to manual scavengers is too difficult to remove, and that they will not be accepted by the mainstream Hindu society any time soon.

Paras Valmiki, member of the manual scavenger community who works as a peon in a government office in Patna, says that though he has never cleaned toilets, he too is identified as a bhangi, or scavenger, in the society.

"A high caste Hindu peon in my office fell in love with me. But when she learnt that I originally belonged to the scavenger community, she refused to marry me," Valmiki told DW. "We cannot part with the stigma that this society has put upon us."

Jeevan Ram, a railway officer in Hajipur city, is also of the view that taking a holy dip at the Kumbh Mela will not upgrade the societal position of manual scavengers.
"In this heavily cast-based society, it is useless to take some former manual scavengers to temples or help them take dips at Kumbh. When they go back to normal life after these rituals, their social status remains unchanged."

Once a scavenger, always a scavenger, say people like Valmiki and Ram.

Source :

Posted by & filed under Articles, In the Press, International.


  • The origin of the discrimination was his job: empty latrines every day.
  • A brahman has been the driving force behind this progress through his NGO has installed 7,000 public toilets and 1.2 million private toilets.
  • The ritual involves bathing waist, throwing water in four directions while reciting prayers.

On 7 February, a hundred members of the subcaste of Bangui, known as 'untouchables', bathed in the confluence of three rivers near the High Brahmin, on the occasion of the festival of Maha (great ) Kumbh Mela which is currently taking place near the city of Allahabad, in Uttar Pradesh (India), the agency Ucanews Catholic.

By doing so, broke a taboo deeply rooted in the Hindu mind, becoming the first representatives of their community, placed at the bottom of the scale of castes, who shared with the high caste Hindus in this Hindu celebration time for purification of sins .

Besides this purifying bath, the group of Dalits [untouchables] was allowed to stay in the tent camps that harbor the pilgrims . They may share the same places and coexistence that Hindu ascetics and other members of Hindu religious groups.

They dined in the company of Swami Narendra Giri, one of the many Hindu leaders and personalities attending the Kumbh Mela . According to the agency, Rajni Nanda, one who lived bhangi currently unpublished, said "I've been washing and blessed." Another dalit, Guddi Athwal, he commented as follows: " It was like a rebirth , particularly when Hindu Brahmins, among the largest in the country, we were welcomed and accepted as part of the Hindu society . "

The subcaste bhangi are located at the bottom of the social scale, among the untouchables. Despite the official abolition of the caste system -suppressing inscribed in the Constitution of the Indian Union in 1950 – thediscrimination toward them still has a traditional cultural base and very strong.

Thus, banghi not access the same temples and the same wells than other breeds. The origin of the discrimination they are subjected is due to only work traditionally attributed to them, the daily emptying of latrines.

Then came Pathak

Following the lead of this group ritual bath bhangi beside the Brahmins, is asociologist, Brahmin and promoter convinced the cause of the Bhangi . This is Bindeshwar Pathak , known throughout India for the action taken by his NGO, Sulabh International Social Service Organization,founded in 1970 .

In the 60s, this young researcher, inspired by Gandhi and determined to help his country, assumed the defense of the Bhangi, whereas forced and degrading his office had a negative impact on the ability of Indian society to enter modernity .

Thus toilets installed a system to remove dry latrines and improving health conditions of the inhabitants. The NGO, through a network of fifty thousand volunteers, has already installed seven thousand public toilets and 1.2 million private toilets , teaching bhanghi other trades to allow them to change their lives and careers.

After bathing ritual a hundred bhangi at Sangam , Bindeshwar Pathak explained that contributed to this event because he saw no reason for bhangi being placed outside the most important religious celebration in the country. It is "allow these people to succeed in the social scale," he said."The message that is sent to all is that the droppings scavengers are not untouchable but are part of society , "he said to the media.

Launched on January 14, celebrating Maha Kumbh Mela will end on March 10 . Until then, the most important pilgrimage of the Hindu religion, will have launched a hundred million people .

The Kumbh Mela , a minor holiday

The Kumbh Mela is celebrated every three years . According to thePuranas , Hindu sacred texts in Sanskrit, there are four places in India where you can celebrate : Haridwar on the edge of the Ganges, Ujjain on the edge of Kshipra, Nashik on the edge of Godavary, Allahabad at the confluence of the Ganges, the Yamuna and Saraswati matching drops of nectar of immortality falls to the ground, breaks a pitcher that gods and demons fought between them.

Hindus believe that bathing in the river during the prescribed days cleanses them of their sins. If the Kumbh Mela is held every three years, the Maha[large] Kumbh Mela is held every twelve years and is the largest concentration of human beings on the planet.

Days shown as more favorable to the pilgrimage, for the new moon and the alignment of certain stars, have been on 10 to 15 February . On 10 February, the authorities expected to 25 million people over six kilometers from the banks of the confluence of the rivers or SangamSanskrit.

A ritual to purify the sins

During the first week of the pilgrimage, the Naga sadhu and go in procession to the shrine. The sadhu are considered holy men , bearded and dressed in saffron robes. Instead, some ascetics are naga or naked and covered with ashes and, in normal times, living in caves and forests and feeding on plant roots.

After these early days, men, women and children come to the shores where the waters of the three rivers meet, are introduced to the c ntura and pour water in four directions, reciting prayers and dousing the rest of the body, thus purifying of their sins , only once he will not run for another twelve years.

(Translated from Spanish through google)

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Posted by & filed under Articles, In the Press, India.

MATHURA: Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar will visit Vrindaban to see the welfare schemes run by Sulabh International for betterment of widows here, organisation’s founder Bindeshwar Pathak said on Wednesday. “Impressed by the service imparted by our organization to widows of Vrindaban, Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar has expressed her desire to visit Vrindaban and personally see the work of our organisation which is committed to ensuring that these widows lead a respectable life,” he said.

Source : Hinustan Times (shortstories page 10)


Posted by & filed under Articles, In the Press, Uttar Pradesh.

मथुरा। विधवाओं को आत्मनिर्भर बनाने की तैयारी की जा रही है। इसकी पहल सुलभ इंटरनेशनल सोशल सर्विस ऑर्गनाइजेशन ने की है। इसके तहत विधवाओं को भाषा और हाथ की कारीगरी में दक्ष किया जाएगा। 
संस्था के संस्थापक डा. विंदेश्वर पाठक ने बताया कि वृंदावन के आश्रमों में गुजर-बसर कर रहीं विधवाओं को अब प्रतिमाह एक हजार के स्थान पर दो हजार की धनराशि वितरित की जाएगी। इसके अलावा उन्हें आत्मनिर्भर भी बनाया जाएगा। इसमें उन्हें पहले हिंदी, बांग्ला, अंग्रेजी भाषाओं का ज्ञान देने के लिए शिक्षकों की नियुक्ति की जाएगी। इसके बाद विधवाओं को सिलाई, कढ़ाई, मसाला, पापड़, बड़ियों का निर्माण, ब्यूटी पार्लर की ट्रेनिंग भी दी जाएगी। इतना ही नहीं संस्था इनके द्वारा तैयार सामान की बिक्री के लिये शोरूम भी खोलेगी और इससे होने वाली आय को इन्हीं के विकास पर खर्च करेगी। अवगत कराया गया कि संस्था अब वाराणसी में भी विधवाओं के लिए ऐसे ही कल्याणकारी कार्यक्रम शुरू करेगी।

लोकसभा स्पीकर आएंगी वृंदावन
मथुरा (ब्यूरो)। डा. पाठक ने बताया कि विधवाओं की पीड़ा को सुन लोकसभा स्पीकर मीरा कुमार भी भावुक हो गईं। वो जल्द ही वृंदावन की विधवाओं से मिलने के लिए आएंगी। 

मेडिकल चेकअप कराया
वृंदावन (ब्यूरो)। डा. बिंदेश्वरी पाठक अपनी टीम के साथ बुधवार प्रात: चैतन्य बिहार स्थित मीरा सहभागिनी महिला आश्रय सदन पहुंचे। यहां उन्होंने लगाए गए मेडिकल कैंप में सभी विधवाओं का चेकअप कराया और दवाई वितरित कीं। इस मौके पर उन्होंने विधवाओं को पाठ्य पुस्तक वितरित कीं। इस अवसर डीपीओ ओपी यादव, सुमनलता, राजकिशोर आदि लोग उपस्थित थे।

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वृंदावन, कार्यालय संवाददाता : सुलभ इंटरनेशनल ऑफ सोशल ऑर्गेनाइजेशन अब प्रत्येक वृद्धा-विधवा को प्रतिमाह दो हजार रुपये देगा। महिलाओं को उनकी मर्जी के अनुसार प्रशिक्षण देकर आत्मनिर्भर बनाया जाएगा। लोकसभा अध्यक्ष मीरा कुमार बहुत जल्दी वृंदावन में आकर पीडि़तों की दास्तां सुनेंगी।

यह जानकारी संस्था प्रमुख डॉ. बिंदेश्वरी पाठक ने बुधवार को चैतन्य विहार स्थित आश्रय सदन में पत्रकारों से बात करने के दौरान दी। उन्होंने बताया कि संस्था ने एक हजार से बढ़ाकर दो हजार प्रतिमाह देने का फैसला इसलिये किया कि विधवा-वृद्धायें चार-छह रुपये एवं चावल आदि के लिये बाहर न जाएं, भिक्षावृत्ति नहीं करें और सदन में शांति से भजन करें। बाहर अपमान एवं दुर्घटना से बचें। उनका कहना था कि लोकसभा अध्यक्ष मीरा कुमार खुद वृंदावन आकर निराश्रितों की आपबीती सुनना और उनके लिये कुछ करना चाहती हैं। उनके आने की तिथि और समय शीघ्र घोषित किया जाएगा। उन्होंने बुधवार को चैतन्य विहार स्थित प्रथम एवं द्वितीय चरण के सदनों में महिलाओं से हाल जाना।

डॉ. पाठक ने बताया कि सुलभ की योजना है कि सदन की महिलाओं को उनकी मर्जी के अनुसार सिलाई, कड़ाई, बुटिक, पापड़, ब्यूटी पार्लर आदि का बेसिक प्रशिक्षण दिया जाए। उनके द्वारा बनाई वस्तुओं को बेचने के लिये शोरूम खोला जाएगा। उससे प्राप्त आय की हकदार भी निर्माता बनेंगी। प्रशिक्षण केंद्र में अंग्रेजी, हिंदी एवं बगला भाषा के तीन प्रशिक्षक रखे जाएंगे।

डॉ. पाठक ने चैतन्य विहार के साथ मां धाम, रास विहारी, लीलाकुंज, रामानुजनगर की मौजूद महिलाओं को रजिस्टर, कलम आदि भी दिये। संस्था के डॉ. रविंद्र कुमार ने विधवा-वृद्धाओं का बीपी, शुगर, दांतों, नेत्रों की जांच की और जरूरी दवाएं दीं।

इस अवसर पर जिला प्रोवेशन अधिकारी ओमप्रकाश यादव, सुमन चाहर, त्रिवेदी रमण, रीटा, प्रियंक, राजू सिंह, अर्जुन पटेल, अंजू गुप्ता, नीतू सिंह, कंचन, आरती दुबे ने सेवाकार्य में सहयोग किया।

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