Red and white in Vrindavan

For the first time, widows of Vrindavan and Varanasi celebrated Holi inside a temple
Thousands of widows celebrated Holi with colours and flowers in a Vrindavan temple.
Thousands of widows celebrated Holi, dancing to Krishna Bhajans and smearing colour on each other, inside a Vrindavan temple.
A group of women rest after hours of playing with colours and flowers in a Vrindavan temple on the occasion of Holi.
For the first time, thousands of widows celebrated Holi inside the ancient Gopinath Mandir in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh.

The ancient Gopinath Mandir in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, for the first time ever, opened its doors to thousands of widows to celebrate Holi. The women danced and smeared colour on each other in the beautifully-lit courtyard of the temple, which was decorated with flowers. Traditionally, Hindu widows have come to Vrindavan and Varanasi, where they wear coarse white clothes, shave their heads, and lead an austere life.

The festivity was organised by NGO Sulabh International as a step towards bringing widows into mainstream society. Sulabh has been supporting these women through steady campaigning and grassroots-level initiatives. The NGO provides a monthly allowance of Rs. 2,000 each to about 1,500 widows, in addition to free accommodation, vocational training, education, employment and medical facilities.

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