By Brij Khandelwal
Agra: Widows living in the ashrams of Vrindavan, have utilised the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity, to promote self-reliance.
They have produced a wide range of Vrindavan-themed cotton masks which are attractive and affordable. Sri Krishna features prominently in the designer masks.
Around 1,000 special Vrindavan themed silk and cotton masks were prepared to be released on the occasion of the International Widows Day, observed on Tuesday.
These masks will be sold by using the online platforms. Women who are confined to their ashrams expressed their interest to design masks and preferred to choose images that depict Sri Krishna in different forms and styles.
An official of the Sulabh International said, “We extended support by providing training and arranged cloths with special designs like ‘More Panki’, (peacock feathers) Bansuri (flutes) and other designs to attract people who love themes relating to Sri Krishna.”
During the lockdown, widows living in ashrams learned mask-making. They have so far prepared more than 5,000 khadi/cotton masks which have been distributed among the police, government employees, sanitation workers, etc.
Vinita Verma, Vice President of Sulabh International says, “These old mothers have a special connection with the temple city of Vrindavan so they desired to pay respect to Krishna by designing such themes and happily prepared at least 200-300 masks in a day.”
“Earlier, around 25 widow mothers living in various ashrams took lessons from our trainers and prepared more than 5,000 masks for free distribution,” she added.
Verma said that now they were preparing designer silk, cotton and khadi masks to be sold through various platforms. “We are approaching organisations like the Khadi outlets and some known brands to ensure their sale. With this, these mothers will directly be benefited.”
Master chef Vikas Khanna arranged distribution of a large number of food items and essential medical supplements and herbal drinks for widows in Vrindavan on the occasion of the International Widows Day.
Under his special food campaign, meals and other essential items were distributed to seven ashrams in Vridavan, “enough to take care of the widows for a few months.”
Vikas Khanna joined the Vrindavan widows live from New York. He said they were special people in his life, while appreciating the efforts of Sulabh Founder Bindeshwar Pathak for taking initiatives for the welfare of widows living in Various ashrams in Vrindavan.
In the light of Supreme Court directives, Sulabh takes care of the widows living in various ashrams. On a routine basis, Sulabh provides them medical facilities and vocational training besides meeting their day-to-day needs so that they do not feel ignored during the twilight years of their lives.
Sulabh has been playing a leading role in adding mirth to the lives of the widows. So it’s the need of the hour to keep them involved in some meaningful contribution at this juncture.