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Irrespective of who comes to power, life remains dingy for forgotten 'widows of Vrindavan' (Photo:ANI)
Irrespective of who comes to power, life remains dingy for forgotten 'widows of Vrindavan' (Photo:ANI)

Irrespective of who comes to power, life remains dingy for forgotten 'widows of Vrindavan'

By Joymala Bagchi | Updated: Feb 09, 2022 21:15 IST

Vrindavan (Uttar Pradesh) [India], February 9 (ANI): With a number of political parties ruling in Uttar Pradesh over the years, things have changed in some way or the other, however, the one thing that has remained unchanged is the plight of "forgotten and unwanted" widows of Vrindavan, mostly above 60 years, who strive hard to meet their leftover life's daily needs.
Voting fervour is high across Mathura-Vrindavan, however, these particular sections say they know about the election tomorrow (February 10) but for them, begging and singing bhajans are more important as it remains their only few sources of meagre earning for ages.
Expressing their plight, the widows said that they have not seen any politicians for "ages" to have visited them to enquire their problems.
"it is being ages of our staying here but we could not remember any of the politicians to have visited here to ask about our plight," one of them said.
Discarded from their own families as well as the society, these old women mostly arrived here in Vrindavan considering it as one of the highest pilgrimage spots. These women spend their lives begging (which they call 'madhukori') outside the temples.
Widows from sexagenarians to octogenarians or nonagenarians told they are not bothered much about the election because after all, nobody including the government would care for them.
Mostly these widows stay at Panighat, Gaynabari in one single room shared by four.
When ANI visited the place, it was found that the rooms bore a melancholic look which is dingy, dismal and had minimal space.
Parvati Dasi, 72, who is staying in Vrindavan for more than 10 years said, "Today morning, it was raining and I could not come for bhajans. Now in the evening, I have come, else I will not get Rs 12. I have no one, how will I eat if I do not come here? We are anyway discarded from families, have never seen government. Till I live, I have to eat there is no other way."
Alike her, hundreds of others staying in Vrindavan get Rs 8 for morning bhajans and Rs 12 for evening bhajans. Other than begging and charity, the lives of the widows are also dependent on this daily earning of Rs 20.
Shobita, who has come from West Bengal's Bribhum district a few months ago after her husband died said, "Four of us share a room in Gaynabari and one of us had to pay Rs 400. This is the system here. It becomes very tough for us to manage Rs 400 and then we have to earn a bit more to eat."
Shanti Ray, 68 who hails from Tripura is staying here for the last three months and feels shy of begging.
Teary-eyed Shanti said, "I eat at Bhandara near Panighat and go to bhajans. The rest of the time I just roam around the bylanes, visit ghats. I also know the names of the popular temples here."
She expressed hopes that her children will come back soon to take her back home.
Earlier the number of such widows were counted in thousands who used to gather at 'shri bhagwan Bhajan ashram' to sing bhajans. However, now one in the administration says that the number has reduced to less than 400.
It is been said that close to four thousand widows stay here at Vrindavan, Govardhan, and Radha Kund areas. All of these fall under the Mathura constituency.
The widows staying here has reached a saturated stage where they find it hard to believe that any political leader will make any difference to their dismal lives in reality. (ANI)