In many communities in India, if a woman becomes a widow, she is shunned. No one will help her, no family, no government. Even if she is still a child.
Widows In India: My Children Threw Me Out Of The House, Al Jazeera, 7 March 2016
I had to sleep on the street as even my family abandoned me after my husband’s death. I was married off to him when I was 11 years old and he was 40.
The women lack education and any source of income.
“A woman should die before her husband’s death so that she doesn’t have to live through hell like this,” Gosh says.
India’s widows band together and scrape a life, they “find solace in each other’s company. They share rooms in the shelter and try to live like a family.”
Maya Rani, 80, says: “I have no one in this world. I am all alone. Being a widow is the biggest curse for a woman.”
Thousands of widows, most of them disowned and abandoned by their families, live in deplorable living conditions in the cities of Vrindavan and Mathura.
Rada Dasi, 82, said, “It’s a lifelong sentence of humiliation and struggle. I have been in this temple for more than 60 years, and now I don’t remember anything about my home-town. I wait for death every day so that I get some relief.”
“The only thought that bothers me is that nobody will mourn my death,” said Moloya Boyragi, 85. “I will die unwanted and unloved.”
“I was a child bride married to an old man, and he died soon after our marriage. I was left to deal with the world that only abused and humiliated widows,” said Prema Dasi, 60.
“My children abandoned me after the death of my husband,” 67-year-old Subudra Dasi said. “I walked, hitched rides from truck drivers, slept on roads, and finally reached Vrindavan. These widows are my family, and here I lead a life of dignity.”
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