| May 22, 2017
Living life with Dignity and Respect..!
Widow Mother rejoicing on Holi..!
Dear Maitri Friend,
We would like to acknowledge your support at the outset. You make a difference to the lives of the elderly and abandoned widow mothers, Maitri is with.
We would like to give you an update of the latest from Maitri Ghar – Old Age Home, “Ashram” to house destitute and abandoned widows of Vrindavan.
March brought colours and laughter in the lives of the widows. They are forced to wear white as a mark of their widowhood, which reminds them constantly of their loss in life. Holi (a festival of colours) was celebrated with joyful fervour in Vrindavan. Traditionally, widows were excluded from this festivity. However, Maitri widow mothers broke this tradition 5 years ago and have been celebrating with flowers, colours, dance and song ever since. The widow mothers look forward to Holi celebrations all year. They decorate the Home, making rangoli (designs made on floor with colours and flowers) to welcome guests who come to play Holi with them. They shower flower petals and colours on each other, sing and dance with abundance. Maitri’s founders General Bhopinder Singh and Winnie Singh travelled to Vrindavan with the entire Delhi office team to play Holi with the widow mothers. Maitri supporters from Vrindavan and other places joined in making it a happy family for the mothers. Widow mothers were gifted sarees on the occasion. You would be happy to know, we have succeeded in the widows accepting some colour on their sarees, instead of pure white which they always wore. A special meal was served to the widow mothers by Maitri family and the guests and joined them for lunch too.. Some of the widow mothers got dressed in costumes symbolising Lord Krishna and his consort Radha were happy in celebrating the festival with song, dance and colours. To the beat of drums they sang Bhajans (hymns in praise of Krishna) and danced with joy and abundance to express their happiness and gratitude.
In the past quarter, with your support, Maitri has provided more than 350 sarees to the residents and non-resident widows of Maitri Ghar in Vrindavan and Radhakund. 35 widows have received pensions under the Widow’s Pension Scheme with the State Government. Though the monthly pension amount is only Rs.300,which is about $4 it is a matter of pride that they are able to access their citizenship rights and claim what is their right from the Govt. indicating they are part of the financial inclusion of the government with a bank account. It gives them an identity.
You will be happy to know that the widow mothers are being provided with nutritious evening meals at both MaitriGhar Vrindavan and Radha Kund. It has been made possible only with YOUR support . So today they have the benefit of being served Mid-Day meals, Milk and Fruits and nutritional supplements.. The bi-weekly health checks take place with all the widow mothers receiving medicines incase of any ailment. And those in need of hospital attention or hospitalisation are taken to the hospital for treatment.
We are delighted to share with you that Maitri has initiated an empowerment centre, with skill building and income generation objective. Initially only 10 sewing machines have been installed at Maitri Ghar at Vrindavan and Radhakund each. Professional teachers have been hired to provide training for sustainable livelihood to widow mothers and girls from financially challenged families in Vrindavan and Radhakund. This has been done to facilitate acceptance of the mothers in the general society, keeping untouchability and ostracisation at bay. Thereby mainstreaming the widows. The beneficiaries will learn tailoring skills ensuring that they will be productive and generate income for themselves increasing their self worth. This will ensure that they are taken away from begging and live a life of dignity and respect. Gaining financial independence will also contribute to the ability to make right choices and decisions and lead a healthier life.
We would like to express our gratitude to all our donors and supporters for supporting the widow mothers and Maitri. It is only with your compassion and support that we are able to reach out and bring joy and laughter in their lives. You make a difference to the lives of the widow mothers in MaitriGhar. Gratitude and Blessings.
Holi Celebrations at Maitri Ghar
Milk distribution at Maitri Ghar
Evening Meals being served at Maitri Ghar