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Widows break tradition, celebrate Diwali in Vrindavan and Varanasi

They took out a procession carrying earthen lamps and converged on the banks of the Yamuna bank at the KC ghat after cleaning their ashrams, which have been tastefully decorated with rangoli and lights.
It was history once again when, for the first time, around a thousand widows ushered in Deepawali inside the centuries’ old  Gopinath Temple in Vrindavan on Thursday night. Choosing to break away from age-old tradition and social taboo, they participated in a big way in  the festival of lights.
Motivated by a series of revolutionary initiatives being spearheaded by well-known social reformer and mentor of Sulabh Movement, Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, widows living in various Ashrams in Vrindavan and Varanasi commenced their four-day long Deepawali celebrations from Gopinath Temple in Vrindavan in a grand manner.
For the first time. around a thousand widows assembled inside the 400-year-old Radha Krishna Temple in Vrindavan holding candles and earthen lamps in their hands, and were full of smiles.
Widows from Varanasi joined old widows living in the holy city of Vrindavan. They took out a procession carrying earthen lamps and converged on the banks of the Yamuna bank at the KC ghat after cleaning their ashrams, which have been tastefully decorated with rangoli and lights.
“With an aim to bring a ray of happiness in their twilight years, we have come up with this unique idea to organize the festival of lights, especially for the widows,” said  Dr Bindeshwar Pathak.
NGO Sulabh has been organizing Holi festival for the widows, besides arranging their visit to West Bengal and national capital Delhi during Dussehra.
On a routine basis, Sulabh provides them medical facilities and vocational training besides meeting their day-to-day needs so that they do not feel left out during the twilight years of their lives.
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