We are dedicated to those who have lost a husband, wife, or partner. We focus on their grief, bereavement, life after loss, and continuing on after a great loss. A woman is surrounded by the culture that seldom she can come out from this. Though social change is very fast due to the growing globalization few areas remain unchanged and one of the areas where the change is very slow is the marriage and related customs.
India is often projected as a harmonious, multi-cultural society to the external world, but the down side of this complex society is that discrimination and prejudice is a way of life. Discrimination against women unfortunately starts at home from a very young age. On the one hand the girl child is pampered. On the other hand girls are discouraged to go to school and to get educated. Instead of making her only a housewife, she should be made able enough to also be a multi-talented woman for multi-purpose. Since in its ignorance the society thinks, that is “the appropriate place for women in the kitchen and to look after her husband’s family and children". Most of the times birth of a girl child is considered a curse to the family. Child marriages are still very common in Indian villages thus girls get married at a very tender age. Thus at a very young age they are burdened with lot of responsibilities, become mothers that leads to physical weakness, illness, and diseases.
In India, widows are looked down upon as disgraceful, unlucky and even cursed. When a woman marries, she leaves her family and friends and lives with her husband’s family. Once the husband dies, relatives take away all of the property, sell it and divide the profits. They often leave the wife and the children with nothing. They are left on their own, living sad lives of destitution and poverty. Many widows turn to street begging or prostitution to support their families. Even then, widows are not allowed to attend their own children's weddings because they are so despised in Hindu society. We are working with such vulnerable populations in India including women who are at the risk of facing gender-based violence, destitute and elderly women/widows, migrant workers and their families in urban environments and underprivileged communities.
With beliefs like these, it’s going to be a long time till widows are accepted by their families. Until that time, it is only organizations like us that can give these women a life of dignity and respect.