Housing project will benefit 'widows living in horrific conditions in Vrindavan'
The safety of women is a national concern now and agencies, companies and government bodies are trying their best to help the cause in their own way. National Commission of Women (NCW) and Housing and Development Corporation limited (HUDCO) have joined hands to provide safety and basic needs to the destitute and poor widows of Vrindavan.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by both HUDCO and NCW on May 7 towards the same goal, and Mamata Sharma, Chairperson of NCW said that work would start this month with a shelter named 'Raas Bhihari,' in Vrindavan.
Mamta Sharma, Chairperson of NCW told this citizen journalist
, “Widows in Vrindavan are living in horrific manner. The basic requirement such as sanitation, food, electricity and drinking water are impure and in bad shape. Sometimes, they have to clean their own toilets and beg for a living. Thus we want to improve these conditions. HUDCO has agreed to look after the financial aspect of the situation and we would tell them the location for the shelter and where things need to change for the better.” She also said that this move will benefit around 20,000 widows living in Vrindavan.
The MOU was signed after a year of a PIL being filed with the Supreme Court by the Environmental and Consumer Protection Foundation, reported the Hindu. The Supreme Court at that point in time had chided the NCW for not doing anything except for studies on the plight of these women who live and die in inhumane conditions.
The case got noticed after it was known that widows living in government shelters in Vrindavan were living in inhumane conditions. Such is the desperate situation that the bodies of widows are being chopped up to avoid cost of proper cremation. At that time a bench of Justices D.K. Jain and Madan B. Lokur had directed the Uttar Pradesh government to ensure that these widows got dignity in death.
After years of neglect, the serious concerns of the Vrindavan widows may see some improvement, although the ground reality is that despite assurrances there may yet be no progress. Widows and their conditions in Vrindavan has always been a cause of concern. The coming Mother's Day on May 12 might bring some good news for these widows, who have been forsaken and forgotten by our society.