Staff Reporter

Government urged to ensure legal protection

KANNUR: The All Kerala Widows Welfare Association (AKWWA) has urged the Government to ensure legal protection for widows and to increase pension for widows in the below poverty line (BPL) category to Rs.500.

Association State secretary Hemalatha Nambiar at a press conference here on Tuesday said the widows were often victims of social ostracism and emotional blackmailing in families. Existing laws should be amended to give legal protection to the widows against assault, injustice, threats, discrimination and misbehaviour, she said. Ms. Nambiar said the plight of widows in the BPL category was worse, as the family and society were often treating them as a burden. The only solace to them was the monthly pension of Rs.110, she said adding that a widow having a son was not eligible to get the pension. There should be legal provisions to ensure that widows were protected by their son, she added.

She said the association demanded that widows of men died in harness should be given jobs on the basis of their education and skills. Financial assistance given to widows for marrying off their daughters should also be increased.

September 27, date of death anniversary of social reformer Raja Ram Mohun Roy, should be observed as Widows' Day to commemorate the ban on `Sati' practice, she said.

AKWWA would stage a dharna in front of the Collectorate on November 9 to raise their demands, she said. Association district president Lakshmidas and joint secretary A. Usha were present at the press meet.