Namita Devnath, Age: 77
Namita is a 77 year old widowed woman who lives in a shelter managed by Maitri India. Her story is not unlike those of other elderly, abandoned widows who come to Vrindavan to spend the latter half of their lives...
I was married when I was 15 years old. My husband, who was 13 years older than me, was a kind man and owned a small grocery shop. He earned enough to support our family and we had three daughters. We worked hard and were able to send our children to government-run schools and arrange their marriages when they became older.
With age, my husband's health deteriorated, and I started taking over the care of our shop. However, most of the money that we earned went towards medications for my husband. Finding it difficult to make ends meet, we eventually had to sell the shop. My husband passed away eighteen years ago...
I was able to stay in my own home for three years after his death. After a while, I went to live with my youngest daughter. However, her in-laws were not happy with this situation and made it difficult for me to continue living there. Not wanting to burden my daughter, I returned to my own home where my daughters visited me frequently. After a few months, my youngest daughter came to live with me and I eventually signed over the deed of my home to her. Almost immediately after, my daughter became abusive, started denying me food and insisted that I leave home. My other daughters were unable to help me and were upset that I had given the home to my youngest daughter.
With no one to look after me or care about my well-being, I came to Vrindavan, where I found the shelter managed by Maitri India. I have been here for almost two years. Here, I get freshly-cooked midday meals everyday, and my essential needs for clothing, shelter, warmth and healthcare are taken care of. I am grateful for the support I receive through Maitri India.
The Maitri India team would like to thank YOU, our generous GlobalGiving donors, who make it possible for us to reach out to and take care of women like Namita.