Hinduism Teachings




Up till current instances, Hindu widows had been anticipated to leap on the funeral pyre of their husbands – an horrific ending to days of mourning.

However whereas India might have modernised lately, components of the nation have clung to conventional methods of considering.

Within the metropolis of Vrindavan, widows are nonetheless thought-about outcasts with little to sit up for other than a each day cup of rice.

It is a lifestyle that critics need to see abolished.

UPSOUND: Chanting

On this holy Hindu metropolis, it is exhausting to flee the sound of prayers and devotion.

Vrindavan, a centre for the worship of the god Lord Krishna, is dotted with dozens of temples – and the incantations go on across the clock.

Each day, devotees from throughout India and the globe flock right here.

However whereas Vrindavan is a spot of celebration, it additionally has the extra sombre sobriquet of “the town of widows”.

Hundreds of homeless widows are pressured to stay right here in ashrams, or sanctuaries.

It’s a little seen dimension of the discrimination confronted by ladies on this male- dominated society.

Widows are sometimes blamed for his or her husband’s loss of life by their in-laws.

Many are thrown out of the home and make their approach to Vrindavan to hunt charity.

Others go away their properties voluntarily as a result of they’re abused.

SOUNDBITE: (English)
“What do you do in a scenario the place you already know if you happen to keep again in the home, chances are you’ll be abused sexually? There could also be a risk of you not even surviving, not even getting a meal to eat.”
SUPER CAPTION: Ranjana Kumari, Centre for Social Analysis

Hindus frown on remarriage for girls – and till trendy instances, widows had been anticipated to leap on the funeral pyre of their husbands.

The outcasts right here have little to sit up for – besides, maybe, the potential of breaking the Hindu cycle of delivery and re-birth in the event that they pray exhausting sufficient.

The ashrams present them with two rupees (seven cents) per day plus a cup of rice.

However that is solely accessible in the event that they attend each day prayers.

Might Devi’s story is typical.

She misplaced her husband when she was 33 and has lived in Vrindavan ever since.

Remoted from her kids by her in-laws, Devi’s life has been nothing however hardship.

SOUNDBITE: (Bengali)
“I got here right here with nothing. Even on the practice, I needed to sit on the ground and never on a bench. I
needed to sit by the bathroom and slept underneath the bench on the ground. Since I got here, I’ve by no means
returned residence. That is my solely residence, now.”
SUPER CAPTION: Might Devi, Widow

Ladies’s rights teams are calling for a ban on the Vrindavan ashrams.

They are saying the so-called holy males who administer them are exploiting the ladies.

Yearly, the ashrams reportedly elevate tens of hundreds of {dollars}.

But the widows stay in abject poverty.

SOUNDBITE: (English)
“These ashrams make it a sort of enterprise the place they’re promoting the agony, promoting the issues that the ladies are going by way of and making an attempt to earn money out of that – I suppose we’re ashamed of such a system.”
SUPER CAPTION: Ranjana Kumari, Centre for Social Analysis

Lots of the widows appear oblivious of their most simple rights.

The bulk come from rural areas the place little has modified in tons of of years.

SOUNDBITE: (Bengali)
“That is the way in which our lives have change into and we settle for it. I used to be unhappy to go away my residence however I don’t want something extra. I take my energy from God. I don’t want cash or land as a result of after I die I can not take them with me.”
SUPER CAPTION: Surbala, Widow

India is changing into a contemporary nation, however a number of the conventional attitudes in direction of ladies stay unchanged.

Whereas some ladies rise to the highest flying fighter plane or working multi (m) million greenback corporations, it is a vastly totally different story for almost all.

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