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In a departure from tradition, a young widow’s marriage was solemnised in the presence of around 500 widows in the 400-year-old Gopinath temple of Vrindavan.
Gaurav Saigal
Gaurav Saigal
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Vinita Devi (centre), a former widow, was married to Rakesh Kumar and the ceremony was solemnized in the presence of 500 widows at the 400 year-old Gopinath temple in Vrindavan on October 16, 2017. Vinita was widowed in 2013, when she lost her husband in the Uttarakhand floods. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

Vinita Devi (centre), a former widow, was married to Rakesh Kumar and the ceremony was solemnized in the presence of 500 widows at the 400 year-old Gopinath temple in Vrindavan on October 16, 2017. Vinita was widowed in 2013, when she lost her husband in the Uttarakhand floods. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

 

 

For the widows ushering in the remarriage, this was their Diwali celebration.  (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

Vinita, seen walking out to the courtyard of the Gopinath temple for the ceremony. ‘I think more women should come forward and take decisions of their lives on their own, whether it is about education, career or choosing a life partner,’ she said. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

A widow (centre) watches Vinita’s marriage ceremony from the sidelines. In a major departure from tradition, remarriage was celebrated in the city where most widows take refuge. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

Over 500 widows from different ashrams in Vrindavan along with local residents attended the grand ceremony, which was possible due to the intervention of Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak of Sulabh International. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

Rakesh Kumar (left) smiles at the solemnization of his marriage to Vinita Devi in Vrindavan. They had a court marriage in 2014 but lacked societal acceptance, hence Sulabh International stepped in to help them with the ceremonial rituals. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

The wedding, organised by Sulabh International, which works for the welfare of widows as part of its human rights and social reform initiatives in the country, was completed with all rituals. A ‘mandap’ was decorated with flowers in the courtyard of the temple. (Burhaan Kinu / HT Photo)

In a departure from tradition, a young widow’s marriage was solemnised in the presence of around 500 widows in the 400-year-old Gopinath temple of Vrindavan on Monday.

Vinita Devi, 23, who lost her husband in the 2013 Kedarnath landslide, tied the nuptial knot with Rakesh.

For the widows present in the marriage, this was their Diwali celebration. “Her marriage is a message for the society that believes a woman’s life ends if she becomes a widow,” said Manu Ghosh, a 90-year-old widow in Vrindavan.

After she lost her husband, Vinita (a mother of two) remained confined to her in-laws’ house in Devlidhanigram in Rudraprayag district for two months. Later, she 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 for herself.

In 2014, she married Rakesh in court, but did not get social acceptance. Hence, to get social acceptance to her marriage, she decided to marry him with full rituals.

The marriage, organised by Sulabh International that works for the welfare of widows in the country, was completed with all rituals. A ‘mandap’ was decorated with flowers in the courtyard of the temple.

Over 500 widows from different ashrams in Vrindavan along with locals attended the marriage. “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.

“I think more women should come forward and take decisions of their lives on their own, whether it is about education, career or choosing a life partner,” said Vinita, who will now settle in Uttarakhand with Rakesh, a driver.

Vinita has not planned her life, but said, “I wish to do something that can provide good education to my children,” adding: “I have taken a bold step, and hope the future will be bright.”

Source : http://www.hindustantimes.com/lucknow/young-widow-s-marriage-solemnised-at-gopinath-temple-in-vrindavan/story-uvhyQkgsyOpxw3QB64C7MP.html