Widows leaving the Ashram at the end of the Prayers.
For the Italian readers, an article in Monday's "Corriere della Sera" :
Aruthi Maity, a widow from Medripur, West bengal staying inside her room at the Aamar Bari Ashram in Vrindavan. This Ashram is totally different from the Sri Bagwan Bhajan Ashram. Widows have a room there and are feeded, no links attached..
Headquartered at Delhi's Qutub Institutional Area, the Guild has established a home for the widows of Vrindavan, Amar Bari, where the women live in the comfort of companionship and care, learning skills that help them gain economic independence and confidence. Most of the women at Amar Bari are from West Bengal. Dr. V. Mohini Giri has served as Chairperson of the Guild of Service since 1979, a social service organization which, among its projects, helps the displaced widows of India.
For the Italian readers, an article in yesterday's "Corriere della Sera" about Vrindavan's Widows...
Widows in line in a small alley where they will get their free meal. The scene is like that everyday. When they sing and pray in the main room of the Ashram in front of a temple, they earn a free meal and some roupies. They pray every morning and afternoon. They are given a token that will give in exchange for the meal.
Kalavathy, a widow is washing her feet at one entrance of the Sri Bagwan Bhajan Ashram before going back in. Widows get A little bit of cah every time they attend the Prayers, a bit of Dal, rice and sweet. Special distributions of clothes are made by the institution from time to time.
Kalavathi, a widow walking out of the Sri Bhajan Ashram. Like most of them, 80 %, to be precise, she came from West Bengal.
Sri Bagwan Bhajan Ashram was founded in 1914, the founder being a religious philantropist, Sri Janki Dasji Patodia. He gave all his money for the religious cause.
Apart from Vrindavan the institution has beranches in Mathura, Barsana, Gokul and Chitrakut.
The widows come everyday in 3 sessions of 4 hours each to sing Bhajan Kritan, during day time. To maintain the 24 hours continuity, Sadhus keep doing it during the night hours.
Radha Radhi Mishre, a 53 years old widow from Calcutta. She spoke English, the only one I met there speaking it. She had arrived at the Sri Bajhan Ashram 8 months earlier. The only thing left for her to do was to pray god, as she had no family members left.
Thanks to her I was able to understand more, she is the one doing the translation for me.
An offering at the start of the prayers in front of an Altar. I asked Radha Radhi Mishre, a 53 years old widow from Calcutta if the young girl on the left was also a widow, she answered : "No, she is only a destitute". I was surprised by her sttrong faith during the singings.
The widows go everyday to meet, to pray inside one of the 7 buildings of the Sri Bagwan Bhajan Ashram. They can't live there, it's just a place where to go during the day time. They have to find an accomodation in town, sometime a room to share with another widow, not easy for destitute having nothing.
Some widows resting a bit before going into another room to sing Bhajan Kritan in the Sri Bagwan Bhajan Ashram in Vrindavan.
Those widows come to the Ashram every day to sing Bhajan, a way of making a few roupies and mainy to get free food. Most of them have been rejected by their families, or don't have family left to look after them.
The Ashram was founded in 1914 by a religious minded philanthrophist, Sri Janki Dasji Patodia who gave up all his moneyfor the religious cause he supported all his life.
I mainly stayed with the same widows the entire week. Savitri, Boghamathi, Nolita, and others