The Women of India Series #5

Meet Ritu.


She is from Bengal.

Living in Vrindavan.

No. She doesn’t beg.

She washes dishes for a living.

Sadly her own sons disowned her after the death of her husband and because she had no where to go, she came to ‘Krishna land’.

She says Krishna is kind. And now Vrindavan is her home.

As soon as she sees me clicking, she hides her face.


“Why are you clicking a widow?”, she asks.

“My camera doesn’t know that, and it really doesn’t matter”, I respond.


The plight of Vrindavan widows is often not spoken about. Even in Ashrams, the treatment they are subjected to is heart wrenching.

Some watch their fellow widows dying in Ashrams, Some beg for food , while some like Ritu work as house helps.

I wonder, Is this the price one pays for bringing up their own children?

17 thoughts on “The Women of India Series #5

  1. Nice pictures, I ponder a lot on this Divsi, why do parents in India save for a life time and raise their children to be abandoned one day? I feel the entire system has to change, the children should be on their own after 18, the parents should save for themselves first then others. And government should take care of social security of senior citizens. All in an ideal world for India.

    1. Thanks Shweta. Indeed. So well put. Indian parents are so attached with their kids that they do not think even once about their own old age and the way they are repaid is extremely sad 🙁

  2. Hema malini was saying begger ladies come from bengal to Mathura.. May be, but these cute ladies hit by fate cant be questioned.. Old age period is a time of relaxing and serving the society.. But these poor ladies… Ahh, what a dilemma.

  3. Sad yet shockingly true. For all the selfless years of love this is what they get. And, what brings tears in eyes is that the first thing they do is keep their children in their prayers every day praying for their welfare. Touching Divsi. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Widows of Vrindavan spend their days in dire poverty. Just a few days ago I was reading an article regarding this. It melted my heart 🙁 the parents spend their last savings for the best upbringing of their children who grow up to be so insouciant …they don’t think twice to throw away their parents once they are ill and old.

    This attachment thing and all extra emotions and feelings of Indian parents need to be revised..seriously…

    1. True Maniparna. I have personally seen the way they live their lives, near Radhakund, Goverdhan. There are so many instances where the parents hand over all their life savings only to be dependent on their kids. In my opinion, this is wrong. Their live savings should be saved for their old age.

  5. “My camera doesn’t know that, and it really doesn’t matter” 🙂 I think one says that when the camera ceases to be a mere device but rather becomes an extension of one’s own self. And that is when you can easily replace “camera” with “I”. 🙂

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