The plight of Widows
India is the country with the largest widow population in the world. It is estimated there are 40 million widows in India today – 10 per cent of the country’s female population. It has become home to the “husbandless”.
On news of their husband’s death, the wives break their bangles as they can no longer wear jewellery or use sindhoor – the red powder women wear in their parting and on their foreheads to denote their married status. Many widows are thrown out of family homes by their children or abandoned by their in-laws. Unfortunately, without a man by her side a woman has no respect in rural Indian society. It is part of a patriarchal culture where a woman is respected only if she is a mother, daughter and wife.
The widows are the unacceptable face of India, many leading agencies including Central and Local Governments have failed them, Politicians with rare exceptions have ignored them and wider society continues to exploit them.
We act as guardians for a number of widows who live alone and do not have the means to support themselves. We provide food, medicine, clothing and related assistance and undertake the general welfare and wellbeing of the Widows. In addition we also support a Home for Widows.
Home for Widows
We have been actively supporting the Home for Widows for a number of years. The Home provides accommodation for 35 widows and is led by an inspirational woman who manages the Home on a tiny budget with minimal support from Government agencies. In response to this dire situation the Foundation has felt compelled to raise much needed funds for this incredible project.
We provide a stimulating environment whereby the Widows are able to forget their otherwise wretched existence. On an annual basis we deliver a range of activities that promote healthy living. In addition to providing an extensive budget for food, medicine, clothing, toiletries, satellite subscription and a number of large flat screen TV’s and regular treats such as day outings.