- Widow in an ashram at Vrindavan
- VRINDAVAN, INDIA – MARCH 29: Saraswati Chakravarty, a widow, eats in her room in Swadhar Mahila Ashray, Seetaram Sadan In Vrindavan in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh on March 29, 2013 in Mathura, India. In the ashrams, the communes of Vrindavan widows lead a fiercely independent life, the able bodied taking good care of themselves without help. They cook their own food which can be called elaborate for one person, worship and offer prayers to their own set of deities placed decoratively even if they share a small room with one and often more inmates. 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. A widows’ ashram in the ‘city of devout widows’, believed to be birthplace of Lord Krishna, as Vrindavan is known as, offers an apt platform for camaraderie and a sense of belonging among the fellow inmates, while providing for their independence they cherish.
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