In many parts of the country, widows are still shunned and subjected to any number of restrictions, including being barred from attending auspicious events. However, when a young widow in Vrindavan recently remarried, nearly 500 other widows were in attendance, ready to bless the couple.
The couple got married at the Radha Gopinath Temple, located on the outskirts of Vrindavan, on October 16, 2017.
Vineeta had lost her husband in the floods that hit Kedarnath in 2013. However, taking her life forward, she decided to get married to Rakesh in Vrindavan following all the traditional customs and rituals.
What made this wedding so extraordinary was the fact that all the rituals and customs, including haldi, mehendi, and sangeet, were organised entirely by the widows.
The couple marked a new beginning by taking vows at the mandap decorated on the temple premises. This beautiful initiative was taken up by Sulabh International, an NGO. This decision was joyously accepted by both families.
The public relations officer of the organisation, Madan Jha, described the initiative as a nationwide campaign and said that it would be carried out throughout the country. The founder of Sulabh International, Bindeshwar Pathak, was also a part of the wedding.
This year, widows and homeless women were also part of the temple's Diwali celebrations. They decorated the temple by making a rangoli and lighting up diyas. Bindeshwar said these women lead desolate lives and are bound by age-old chains. Therefore, he has continuously made efforts to celebrate various occasions such as Diwali and Holi with them.
Sulabh International has been taking positive steps towards fighting social evils and has, for the past three years, continuously made endeavours to illuminate the lives of widows.
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