Widows of Vrindavan

Vrindavan in Uttar Pradesh is known as the ‘city of widows’. Most of them come from Bengal and spend the rest of their lives in ashrams here.

By Priya Goswami

Playing Holi was is considered taboo for widows. They are supposed to wear white and eschew colours. However, Sulabh International began organising Holi celebrations for them from 2013 onwards.

Team Sulabh busy preparing for the celebrations.

Sulabh International founder Bindeshwar Pathak celebrates Holi with the widows.

Bare essentials of their life – a white cotton saree, walking stick and japamala (prayer beads).

The widows warm up with a little song and dance before Holi.

A beautifully colored canvas of widows playing with flowers and gulal (coloured powder).

One of the oldest widows of Vrindavan waits for the Holi celebrations to begin.

The widow taking rest after an eventful celebration.