人间悲剧:印度被赶出家门的寡妇群

作者:kukubara  于 2013-8-5 15:21 发表于 最热闹的华人社交网络--贝壳村

通用分类:热点杂谈

有些封建的印度家庭认为寡妇晦气,克死了丈夫,又是赡养的包袱,家族势力,甚至亲生的孩子把寡妇赶出家门。这些无家可归的妇女就聚居在所谓的寡妇城。Indian Government urged to improve conditions for abandoned women in 'City of Widows'
Murali Krishnan in Vrindavan

Posted 5 hours 6 minutes ago

India's Supreme Court is calling on the government to improve the conditions of abandoned women in the 'City of Widows', Vrindavan.

With a population of nearly 60,000 people, Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh is home to an estimated 20,000 widows.

Every morning, Rani Sominder, a 70-year-old widow, has risen at dawn, attending community prayers at the ashram or shelter before a sparse meal and a day spent sitting in the temple.

For the last eight years, this has been her routine, since she was abandoned by her family after her husband died.

"There were problems at home - I could not stay there any longer and that is why I came to Vrindavan," she said.

"I still have not come to terms with my problems, but I have no choice and I have nowhere else to go."

Living in little cabins or in charity homes that dot the busy city, thousands of women tell similar stories, of having to flee the social stigma they have had to endure following the death of their husbands.

From newly-weds to middle-aged mothers to elderly women who can barely walk, almost all are dressed in white.

Dhrupathi Jha, 65, says she too experienced the social humiliation that comes with being a widow.

"I had difficulties, and to overcome them I decided to come to Vrindavan," she said.

"There was turmoil at home and I could not deal with it - I come here for salvation and this helps me keep my personal problems away."

The Indian Government has appointed a panel to collect data on the socio-economic conditions of widows in Uttar Pradesh.

In many conservative Indian Hindu families, widows are shunned because they are seen as bringing bad luck, with superstitious relatives sometimes even blaming them for their husband's death.

Ankat Vas, a volunteer who has been living in Vrindavan for several years, says thousands of women have also been abruptly dumped in Vrindavan by their own children, who consider it a burden to look after them in their old age.

"We can raise the awareness of widows otherwise they will be going to different places for begging," he said.

"These are not just widows, these are our mothers, Vrindavan mothers, who require help and we should help them in different ways so that they can get at least a meal in a day."

Some widows come as genuine pilgrims to devote their remaining years to the service of Lord Krishna, the Hindu deity believed to be born in Vrindavan.

Many other have a tough time at the spiritual communes, forced to turn to begging to survive and at times spend much of their day singing devotional songs in exchange for a hot meal and a few rupees.

Narasimha Dasa, whose organization also feeds widows regularly, feels the flood of widows is only going to increase.

"With these widows especially from the rural areas, a certain kind of thinking sets in - that I have lost everything, so let me dedicate my life to spiritual causes - just like people take sanyas (renunciation) when they retire at the end of their life," he said.

"Another reason is also that many times the families unfortunately reject these ladies due to social conventions that are not desirable and practices that should not be followed.

"I feel they are umpteen factors that are contributing to this influx increasing."

In the last three years several charities have begun operating in the town and a large number of widows are gradually being taken into their care.

Raj Kumar Babloo, who oversees several shelters in the town, says some of the widows are regaining confidence by learning vocational skills, like threading flowers to make garlands or making incense sticks, which are sold to pilgrims visiting the temple shrines.

"This is a sacred place, and most of these women want a dignified ending to their lives because of this ordeal they have gone through," he said.

"But their numbers are increasing with every passing year."


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