Widows celebrate Holi – the ‘festival of colours’ in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh in a small patio of the ashram in which they live. They dance and play with coloured powder. Shunned from society when their husbands die, not for religious reasons, but because of tradition, many Hindu widows have been ostracised from society and no longer live with their families and are forced to beg for food.
The widows of this and other ashrams in this northern town are sponsored by the NGO, Sulabh International, which funds most of their needs. Almost 2,000 of the estimated 34 million Indian widows live in Vrindavan and benefit from the welfare extended by the NGO.