Vrindavan windows breaks away from tradition, celebrate holi

New Delhi/March 24
Breaking away from age old shackles of tradition, more than 800 Vrindavan widows played Holi with each other with gulal and flowers at Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh.
For the first time in history, the widows of government run Ashrams took part in the festivities which begin here today in Vrindavan, considered the land of Lord Krishna.
Earlier, the widows were allowed to play Holi with ‘Thakur’ or ‘Lord Krishna’ and not with each other. Every year, Vrindavan hold four day long Holi celebrations in which traditional ‘Raas-Leela’ dance and other programs are organized.
Sulabh International founder Bindeshwar Pathak said that the widows has expressed the desire to play Holi after which we decided to break away from the age-old traditions and organized Holi festivities and programs for them. Now, they can enjoy playing Holi with each other and take part in other cultural programs.
The initiative by Sulabh will mark a step forward in bringing these widows to mainstream and also end social prejudices against them.
Around 20,000 widows stay or forced to stay in Vrindavan due to Hindu tradition which says that a wife whose husband dies before her is woman’s fault that entails lack of devotion or some crime in her previous life. These widows can’t use cosmetics; have to eat only bland food and wear a plain white cotton sari. Most of them stays in crowded Ashrams or are homeless and they live on charity or have to survive their life begging.
Vrindavan is located around 10 km from Mathura, Lord Krishna’s birthplace, near the Agra-Delhi highway. Vrindavan have several ashrams and temples dedicated to Radha and Krishna and it is believed that Lord Krishna spent his childhood days here.