Vrindavan 2018.03.10 (VT) In a state government has taken the initiative to make widows self reliant and is hoping to reduce the hoards of widows seen begging outside temples. It is hoped that the ‘Braj Sugandh’ (The Fragrance of Braj) will make hundreds of widows self-reliant through providing them with a livelihood.
As well as helping Vrindavan widows, the project will produce useful products such as incense, perfume and herbal gulal powder and will help stop unnecessary wastage of offered flowers and will prevent the pollution of the Yamuna caused through dumping flowers in the river.
Many organizations have taken initiatives to improve the condition of widows, however none have been successful in making them self-reliant. The Braj Sugandh project will collect flowers from up to 100 temples on a daily basis as the flowers from which scent will be harvested need to be fresh.
Estimates of the number of widows in Vrindavan vary from 2000-4000. Many come from other states to take shelter in Vrindavan or are left here by family members. Those who are able to, often sit outside of temples to beg in order to supplement the meagre rations they receive.
The Braj Sugandh flower recycling project will start its operations from 13th March. During the planning phase of the project, government officials met with local leaders and NGOs to gain local knowledge and garner the support of temples and environmentalist organizations.
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