Historically, widows congregate in India's holy city, Vrindavan, where they are expected to spend the rest of their lives after their husbands' death, praying for release from the cycle of birth and death. Abandoned by their families and society, they are subjected to much humiliation and are denied even essential human rights such as shelter, food, security, health and dignity.These injustices can be traced to the culture-specific practices and social taboos surrounding widowhood in India.
Maitri India currently works to improve the health and living conditions of about 500 elderly and marginalized widows in Vrindavan. Our Project "Jeevan" seeks to promote dignity for them, and improve their standard of living. Towards this end, Maitri provides them with shelters, healthcare, daily nutritious midday meals, potable water, clothing, and other essentials. Providing warm blankets and socks will help these neglected women stay warm during the rapidly approaching cold winter season.
Since blankets, shawls and sweaters are a long-lasting item, these will be usable by widowed women for at least a few years. Providing about 500 widows with blankets, sweaters and shawls will help take care of a basic need for protection against the cold. In addition, since most of the widows are often physically weak, these would help prevent further health problems. Blankets, shawls and sweaters are a necessity for them.