Vrindavan, Oct 28: The time has come to celebrate Diwali with the new ways of life and breaking all the so-called traditions that become a barrier in woman’s life.
Nearly 700 widows showed the strength to step ahead by crossing all the lines that stop them from celebrating festivals and enlighten their lives.
Widows celebrated Diwali for the first time inside the ancient Gopinath Temple on Thursday.
The movement was led by Sulabh Movement leader and social activist Bindeshwar Pathak, who was also present for the celebrations. Widows from six of Vrindavan’s ashram took part in the celebration.
Widows from Varanasi joined widows living in Vrindavan to step inside the Gopinath temple with an aim to break cultural taboos, which restricts them from taking part in any festivals, among others, after the death of their husbands.
Pathak’s this move should be praised as this was the fourth time that widows participated in any festival through the Pathak-led movement.
Earlier, widows celebrate Diwali but were not allowed to celebrate inside any temple. They were also able to celebrate Holi from last year as a result of the initiative.
The celebration inside the temple started with Pathak lighting up the candles and ‘diyas’ placed circularly. He was then joined by the widows who lit ‘fuljhari’ and ‘anaar’, before they showered Pathak with flowers.
“With an aim to bring a ray of happiness at their twilight years, we have come up with this unique idea to organise the festival of lights, especially for the widows,” he said.
Sulabh International looks after half a dozen widow ashrams in Vrindavan, including Pagal Baba, Ketan Vihar, and Maa Dhaam ashram, among others.
“We have been celebrating Diwali, Holi, and Durga Puja since 2012. Pathak ji has done a lot for us. He gave us ambulance, TV, fridge, medicines,” 85-year-old Mona Ghosh whose been living in Pagal Baba Ashram for last 30 years said.