Vrindavan | Thursday, Oct 27 2016 IST
History once again was created today when for the first time around a thousand widows ushered in Diwali inside the centuries old Gopinath Temple in the temple city.
Choosing to break away from age-old tradition and social taboo, they participated in a big way in the festival of lights.
Motivated by the series of revolutionary initiatives being spearheaded by well-known Social Reformer and Mentor of Sulabh Movement, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, widows living in various Ashrams in Vrindavan and Varanasi commenced their four-day long Diwali celebrations from Gopinath Temple in Vrindavan in a grand manner.Defying the age old tradition, for the first time around a thousand widows assembled inside the 400 year old Radha Krishna Temple in Vrindavan holding candles and earthen lamps in their hands, and were full of smiles. Widows from Varanasi joined old widows living in the holy city of Vrindavan to enter into ancient temple with an aim to break the cultural taboo attached to them regarding their participation in rituals after death of husbands. This will be for the fourth successive year that the widows will participate in the festival of lights in a big way. Last year, over a 1,000 widows in Vrindavan had celebrated Diwali in style to dispel the darkness eclipsing their lives since ages.
They turned out in a procession carrying earthen lamps and converged on the banks of the Yamuna bank at the KC ghat after cleaning their ashrams, which have been tastefully decorted with rangoli and lights.
All the half a dozen ashrams maintained by NGO Sulabh International have been spruced up to match the occasion.
“With an aim to bring a ray of happiness at their twilight years, we have come up with this unique idea to organise the festival of lights, especially for the widows,” said social reformer and founder of Sulabh Movement Dr Pathak.
NGO Sulabh has been organising Holi festival for the widows, besides arranging their visit to West Bengal and national capital Delhi during Dussehra.
The NGO has been playing a leading role in adding mirth to the lives of the widows by organising other functions for them from time to time.
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.UNI MB CJ SHS 2042
— (UNI) — C-1-1-DL0400-998047.Xml