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LUCKNOW: Hundreds of widows living a neglected life in the ashrams of Vrindavan will take another step back to the mainstream of the society on November 18 when they will get a new name – ‘Krishna Vadhus’. The rechristening would be done on the occasion of the 500th birth anniversary of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

The two socio-religious organisations behind the effort – the Earth Voice of Vrindavan and the Shri Dharmik Lila Samiti of Delhi – have confirmed that chief minister Akhilesh Yadav would inaugurate the devotional do. The week-long celebration will not only see chanting of devotional songs from 28 states in 15 languages but also a strong resolve to free the widows living in the holy town from all kinds of stigmas.

“By renaming them as ‘Krishna Vadhus’, we are making a small bid to unite them with Lord Krishna. These widows have lost their husband physically and not spiritually, if one goes by the Hindu mythology. Even the philosophy of Lord Krishna says that ‘atma'( soul) is immortal and reunites with ‘parmatma’ (divine),” explains Vaishnavacharya Shree Abhishek Goswami of Shree Ram Temple, Vrindavan, who is coordinating the event.

The chief minister will inaugurate the week-long celebration called ‘Vrindavan Prakash Utsav’ on November 18 and has extended his full support to the effort to bring the widows into the mainstream, says Goswami. A senior officer of the state government also confirmed that the CM would be the chief guest on the first day of the function.

Goswami said that the effort is not only limited to renaming their status, but the two organisers with support from UP government, would create a corpus fund for the widows and involve them to earn their livelihood and live respectfully instead of just waiting for death at the ashrams.

Organisations like Sulabh International have already been working on the betterment of these widows’ lives by making them participate in festivals like Holi and Diwali. The move to give them a recognition, says Goswami, will not only set them free from stigma, but also hit out at orthodox minds in the society.