Vrindavan, 2017.08.05 (VT): On Raksha Bandhan, four widows from Vrindavan will go to Delhi, where they will tie rakhis on the wrists of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ramnath Kovind. During their visit, they will propose a new law that would prevent children from abandoning their elderly parents.
Thousands of widows live in shelters and on the streets in the holy city of Vrindavan. Some have started calling Vrindavan “The City of Widows” as a result, but most of the widows in Vrindavan are not from Vrindavan, nor even from the same state. Large numbers of women have been abandoned by their families in West Bengal and other states, where being a widow is often considered “bad luck” and a drain on family finances. They come to Vrindavan for shelter, and Vrindavan accepts them with open arms.
The widows of Vrindavan hope that Prime Minister Modi will make abandoning one’s parents in this way a punishable offense.
At a government shelter in Bhoot Gali, widows are busy making rakhis with images of the Prime Minister on them. They have made about two thousand rakhis so far, while another 1,500 are being prepared under the auspices of Sulabh International. These rakhis will be tied on the hands of local people by the widows during a function at Gopinath Mandir on August 6th.
Four widows from Vrindavan will go to Delhi to tie rakhis to the PM and the President on August 7th.