Widows at Virndavan who are cast out by their families, most of them from West Bengal and few from Bihar, eastern parts of India find little joy in Deepawali (festival of lights) and Holi (festival of colours) every year. Other than the holy city Varanasi, Vrindavan in the state of Uttar Pradesh, about 185 kilometer away from the national capital Delhi is a major city of discarded widows. Vrindavan is the spiritual refuge of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who belonged to Nadia in West Bengal, this is the reason that the people of West Bengal and adjoining Bihar consider this place extremely sacred and the widows stay here. Around 65000 widows live in various Old Age Homes, commonly known as ‘Ashrams’ in this small spiritual city and they are spending many years alone without affection of their relatives.
A prominent NGO Sulabh International Social Service Organization led by Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak organizes joyous moments in both the occasions with plenty of supports for the widows. This year, it was another remarkable step of the NGO when they set an unique example by felicitating Rakesh Kumar, a taxi driver who wedded Vinita in 2014. 20 year old Vinita lost her first husband in Kedarnath devastation in 2013.
On Deepavali Celebration this year, Dr. Pathak donated a car to Rakesh Kumar to stand on his own feet and lead a healthy family life with Vinita. Widows at Vrindavan also get delighted and celebrated the festival and Rakesh-Vanita’s wedding show organized by Sulabh International Social Service Organization.