Arunav Sinha| TNN | Nov 22, 2016, 08.23 PM IST
LUCKNOW: For 93-year-old Manu Ghosh, it was not a simple foreign tour, but an occasion to represent thousands of widows of Vrindavan and Varanasi in Paris. Manu Ghosh who returned to India on Tuesday, said, “It was not just a foreign trip for us. In fact, the tour provided an international platform, where we got respect, which we deserve. I got chance to represent thousands of widows of Vrindavan and Varanasi at the International festival.”
Along with Manu Ghosh, another widow – 73-year-old Gaurvani Sheel also had the opportunity to visit Paris, where the duo was invited to participate in Europe’s one of the biggest exhibition of photographs. Both Ghosh and Sheel living in Meerasahabhagini Ashram in Vrindavan spent a week in the city of Montier-en-der and participated in various conferences and lectures along with social reformer and founder of Sulabh International Bindeshwar Pathak.
Apart from attending the world conference, it was another moment of joy when they posed for photographs in front of Eiffel Tower in Paris, a photo shoot, which they would remember for the rest of their life. “After organising Holi and Deepawali, I have arranged this foreign trip to give a sense that these widows are not neglected,” says Dr. Pathak.
He further stated that every widow is given Rs 2,000 per month by Sulabh, 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.
Sulabh known the world over for promoting the concept of low-cost sanitation, started taking keen initiative in the welfare of widows after the Supreme Court‘s intervention few years ago. It 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 Deepawali and Holi.
On a routine basis, Sulabh provides them medical facilities and vocational training besides meeting their day-to-day needs so that they do not feel left out during the twilight years of their lives. Motivated by the series of revolutionary initiatives being taken by, Pathak said that now widows living in various Ashrams in Vrindavan and Varanasi are living a happy and meaningful life.