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Posted at: Oct 16 2017

Vrindavan, Oct 16 (UNI) In a marked departure from century-old tradition, a young widow’s marriage was arranged in presence of around 500 widows in historic Gopinath temple on Monday evening to celebrate Diwali.

Sulabh International which works for the welfare of widows in the country had organised the marriage.

The widow, Vinita Devi (23) lost her husband in the 2013 Kedarnath landslides and as a mother of two, she 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 to take care of her ailing mother. But, she soon started facing the grim realities of life as a widow, with no money to feed herself. Later, she re-married through court, but did not got social acceptance.

“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.

Over 500 widows from different ashrams in Vrindavan attended the marriage as part of Diwali celebrations.

Sulabh NGO, known for promoting the concept of low-cost sanitation, is also taking keen initiative in the welfare of widows after the Supreme Court’s intervention 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 along with medical equipment for providing timely and adequate medical attention for their treatment.

NGO Sulabh also organises religious and cultural festivals for widows and takes them out to participate in Durga Puja festival in West Bengal, or a trip to tourist spots in Delhi, besides regularly organising Diwali and Holi festivals for them.

UNI MB PS 1815
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