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Plight of Hindu Widows

The treatment meted out to widows by certain section of Hindu society is appalling. The life of a widow in rural India is nothing short of dreadfulness. So much has been written about this aspect. It is high time the Hindu society took up the issue of widows.

Certain societies in India have changed during the past 60 years. A classic example is the Hindu society in Kerala. Primary education has done a world of good here. Remarriage is no longer a problem in Kerala. Hindu society should take lessons from Kerala. A reformation should take place within the Hindu society.

The story of India's widows by Dheera Sujan is an eye opener.
“My mother became a widow at the age of 37. Soon after, she packed up her children and her belongings and left India for a job in Australia. 40 years later, her family still hasn't really recovered from losing us, and I think she's never stopped feeling guilty for leaving them. 
When I asked her why she'd made such a drastic move at a time when women just didn't do that kind of thing, she replied simply that she didn't want to be a widow in India.” 
There are more than 40 million widows in India - 10 percent of the country's female population. And for the majority of these women, life is what some have described as a "living sati", a reference to the now outlawed practice of widow burning.

Only 28 percent of the widows in India are eligible for pensions, and of that number, less than 11 percent actually receive the payments to which they're entitled. If a woman is not financially independent, she's at the mercy of her in laws and her parents. And if they don't have the will or the resources to take care of her and her children, she's on her own.

Hindu widows especially are faced with a battery of societal taboos; the general rule of thumb is that the higher their caste, the more restrictions widows face. Traditionally when a man dies, his widow is expected to renounce all earthly pleasures.

Widows should no longer look attractive, and are expected to wear only simple white saris for the rest of their lives. On news of their husband's death, they break their bangles and can no longer wear jewellery or use sindhoor - the red powder women wear in their parting and on their foreheads to denote their married status.

An orthodox widow may be expected to cut her hair or even shave her head. A widow from the south of the country may not even be able to wear a blouse under her sari.

Dheera Sujan is talking about an issue, which every human being should listen. You can listen to the article or read it here - A life of Ashes - Story of India's widows Dheera Sujan 

Just listening and discussing is not going to be of any good. We should do something to mitigate the suffering of the Indian Widows. They are our mothers. A land cursed by these mothers will never prosper.