Widows, who spend for around 7 to 8 hours for Bhajans, get only Rs. 18 a day to survive.
How can under eighteen girls be married & discarded by their families if they turn widows?
This was the blistering question the Apex Court asked on Friday when it expressed grave concern about the ill-treatment that the country metes out to destitute women & widows.
The Supreme court was hearing a PIL (public interest litigation) filed by a non-governmental organization (NGO) asking the Apex court to look into the extremely bad & inhumane conditions of widows thrown out of their homes & living in Vrindavan in UP.
The Apex Court has scheduled the next hearing on the PIL on November 11.
In May, the court had issued notices to the Central and the Uttar Pradesh govt. on a PIL which calls attention to the plight of the widows who beg at temples & huddle together in hovels in Vrindavan.
In its petition, the NGO, pointed out to the court that the widows, who spend for around 7 to 8 hours for bhajans, get only Rs. 18 a day.
The NGO also told the court that majority of the 1,000-odd widows interviewed by the National Commission for Women (NCW) have children who don’t care for them.
In a report to the court, the statutory women’s body recommended to make these children liable under the Maintenance & Welfare of Parents & Senior Citizens Act, 2007.
The NCW said that an estimated 5,000-10,000 widows were living in the the two holy towns of Mathura & Vrindavan like beggars and were being sexually exploited.
In May, the Supreme Court appointed a 7-member panel to collect data on widows living in Vrindavan socio-economic condition.