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Widows in Vrindavan Play Holi – Welcome Change Initiated by Sulabh International

A larger number of widows from various parts of North and Eastern parts of India today live in Braj near Vrindavan – a minority of them voluntarily arrive to live in the ashrams here but majority of them are forced to leave their villages and families and live in Braj without any economic support from the family. The stay away from festivities of all kind. But this Holi, the widows of Vrindavan played Holi - threw flowers at each other and played with gulal. Thanks to the much needed change initiated by Sulabh International

Times of India reports
These widows of the holy town — tragic icons of institutionalized oppression against women — have been observing Holi for decades. But it had always been a quiet affair, within the confines of their ashrams. They would enact scenes from Krishna's 'Raas leela', shower each other with flowers and occasionally use a bit of gulal.
"We would watch men and women play Holi from the windows of our ashram. The celebrations of the town are legendary," said Pushpa Adhikari, a widow from Bengal, who came to Vrindavan 17 years ago.
On Sunday, though, the widows came out in the open with a cathartic celebration in front of reporters from across the world. They played 'Raas leela' in new clothes and danced to traditional Holi songs amid a shower of flowers and colour. 
"It's a Holi of hope. The message that goes out from the celebration is that widows want to be part of the mainstream. They too have aspirations that should be fulfilled," said Bindeshwar Pathak, head of Sulabh International, which organized the event.