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NGO plans to meet political leaders once the exact number under their care is ascertained

NGO Sulabh International on Monday invited the government and civil society to provide donations for the welfare of Vrindavan widows, who arrived here on Sunday to celebrate Durga Puja on the invitation of puja samitis in the city.

“I am now planning to meet leaders from various political parties and the Ministers to impress upon them the need to have a separate setup to deal with such issues,” Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of SI, which now runs the Sulabh Hope Foundation(SHF), told reporters here.

“We can easily provide regular salaries or pension to widows so that they live with dignity,” said Mr. Pathak. The political mobilisation will be initiated once the organisation completes a survey to ascertain the number of widows who have taken shelter in and around Vrindavan.

SHF suggests that funds channelled through reputed NGOs would reach the women promptly.

“I know how a District Magistrate of Mathura struggled for two years to procure one ambulance for a shelter home in Vrindavan, and how we managed to give them six within a month [simply] because there was no red tape,” Mr. Pathak said.

Sulabh is estimated to have 900 widows living under its care in Varanasi, Vrindavan and Uttarakhand. While trends indicate the inflow of abandoned women has reduced over the years, Sulabh recently took in 39 women — all Nepalis who had been living in the Radha Tila region near Vrindavan for over half a century.

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