Politics

Photo Feature: The Widows of Vrindavan

Shome Basu gives a glimpse of the daily life of the widows residing in Vrindavan.

Widows at Vrinvan ashram - Glimpses of their daily life. By Shome Basu 20130202_0089

Glimpses of the daily life of the widows at the Vrindavan ashram. Credit: Shome Basu

Thrown out of their homes, these widows get to stay at a home in Vrindavan where they spend most of the time doing kirtan and begging. Many of them have been lured by their children and family into leaving their house to go to Vrindavan in the ‘name of God’.

With no money, these women – most of whom are from the hinterland – end up at the mercy of landlords who force them to beg and earning money. In return for the money they earn from begging, the landlords provide them with a minimum amount for their living.

About 6,000 widows are residing there, a majority of whom are from West Bengal.

The land of lord Krishna, Vrindavan is considered as a holy place for Hindus. But the conditions in which these women are forced to live shed light on how poorly they are treated by their families. No one knows why so many widows come here, but it has been so for centuries and no steps have been taken to stop this atrocity.

Shome Basu brings images from their daily lives to show the state of widows living in Vrindavan and how these old women are slowly crumbling in the so-called holy city.

Widows at Vrinvan ashram - Glimpses of their daily life. By Shome Basu 20130202_0035 Widows at Vrinvan ashram - Glimpses of their daily life. By Shome Basu 20130202_0038 Widows at Vrinvan ashram - Glimpses of their daily life. By Shome Basu 20130202_0042Widows at Vrinvan ashram - Glimpses of their daily life. By Shome Basu 20130202_0072 Widows at Vrinvan ashram - Glimpses of their daily life. By Shome Basu 20130202_0044 Widows at Vrinvan ashram - Glimpses of their daily life. By Shome Basu 20130202_0054 Widows at Vrinvan ashram - Glimpses of their daily life. By Shome Basu 20130202_0057 Widows at Vrinvan ashram - Glimpses of their daily life. By Shome Basu 20130202_0077 Widows at Vrinvan ashram - Glimpses of their daily life. By Shome Basu 20130202_0082 Widows at Vrinvan ashram - Glimpses of their daily life. By Shome Basu 20130202_0089 Widows at Vrinvan ashram - Glimpses of their daily life. By Shome Basu 20130202_0092 Widows at Vrinvan ashram - Glimpses of their daily life. By Shome Basu 20130202_0094 Widows at Vrinvan ashram - Glimpses of their daily life. By Shome Basu 20130202_0095 Widows at Vrinvan ashram - Glimpses of their daily life. By Shome Basu 20130202_0108 g

All images by Shome Basu.