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City of Joy to play host to Vrindavan widows for Puja

Continuing with a cherished homecoming tradition, Vrindavan widows will travel to Kolkata to celebrate Durga Puja on the invitation of various puja committees later this month. Over 50 women, widowed and shunned by their families in West Bengal, will participate in the festivities in the City of Joy for a week from September 25.

The women are also likely to be honoured by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and other important State personalities. Delhi-based NGO Sulabh International, which takes care of all the needs of the over 1,000 widows in Vrindavan besides providing a monthly stipend, has made all travel and other arrangements for them.

“It is a novel idea for these widows, who now live a lonely life, totally cut off from society… They will get a break from their monotonous lives in the ashrams. Their trip to Kolkata is an effort to bring some joy into their lives and sense of belongingness. It is not just a Puja tour for them; they are going back to the land of their ancestors, back to their roots. It is a journey down memory lane for them… It is like a homecoming,” said SI founder and head Bindeshwar Pathak.

SI has drawn elaborate plans for their stay in Kolkata. Apart from participating in Durja Puja celebrations, they will enjoy rides on the historic tram, the Metro and ferry across the Hooghly. They will also get to visit the famous Kali Bari, Victoria Memorial and Chowringhee.

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Printable version | May 19, 2021 9:14:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/durga-puja-beckons-vrindavan-widows-in-kolkata/article6416308.ece

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