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A widow in a street of Vrindavan
VRINDAVAN, INDIA - MARCH 30: A widow walks in a street of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh on March 30, 2013 in Mathura, India. Historically known as the ‘city of devout widows’, believed to be birthplace of Lord Krishna, mostly destitute widows converge here primarily from the eastern state of West Bengal to spend rest of their lives in devotion of Radha and Krishna. To Hindus, Lord Krishna is the fountainhead of divine love and spirituality. Radha is His beloved wife who holds an equally august position in the Hindu religion. Traditionally, widows in conservative regions of the country avoid or have been denied social sanction for remarriage, are expected to wear white, eat simple food and abstain from participating in social events. Historically, they generally faced contempt from the families of their in-laws and community at large, who would attribute their men’s death to themselves, believed to have brought bad luck to the families. They led, and in several places in the country still lead a lonely life.
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