Five ambulances provided to help deal with emergencies

Making a humble effort to lift the spirits of abandoned widows who have made Vrindavan their home, Sulabh International on Thursday dedicated five well-equipped ambulances to them for dealing with medical emergencies. Sulabh International, which had earlier taken steps for the welfare of the widows of Vrindavan after the Supreme Court expressed shock on their plight and the inhuman disposal of bodies, arranged a visit to Delhi for some of them, where they were felicitated.

Sulabh has already committed to provide adequate medical care for the widows. The ambulances would be kept on alert round-the-clock in Vrindavan. Besides, it gave them certain medical equipment, TV sets and refrigerators. Responding to the court directives, Sulabh initiated measures for them to lead a dignified life. “We have started giving Rs. 1,000 per month to each widow living in five government-run shelters in Vrindavan. Besides, we have opened a centre to provide proper healthcare and last rites,” said Bindeshwar Pathak of Sulabh.

With his vast experience in the field of low-cost sanitation and social upliftment of manual scavengers, the Sulabh founder said his first task would be to motivate the orphans and able-bodied widows to undergo vocational training so that they can earn their livelihood.

The court had recently taken strong exception to the manner in which the bodies of the widows, who lived in government shelter homes, were disposed — by chopping them into pieces and putting them in gunny bags — on the plea of insufficient money for proper cremation. The court had expressed serious concern regarding shortage of food as well. It had asked the National Legal Service Authority to contact Sulabh to find out if they could come forward to help the widows living in the government shelters.

Sulabh would also regularly monitor the success of its noble efforts, he said, adding that a monitoring cell would be set up for the purpose.

“For the time being, we will start on our own, but simultaneously, we will approach the Central as well as state governments, and big corporate houses for help. The idea is to provide a dignified life to the widows,” Dr. Pathak said.

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