Uttarakhand: Help us get married say women in 'village of widows'

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Uttarakhand: Help us get married say women in 'village of widows'

Post by Rashmun on Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:40 pm

DEHRADUN: Rachna Shukla, 28, has reconciled herself to leading a solitary life, much like the 31 other widows of Deoli-Bhangiram, a village in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand, dubbed as the "village of widows" after the 2013 Kedarnath deluge took the lives of 54 men from this tiny hamlet alone. Thirty-two of the men were married at that time.

Now, four years after the disaster, the widows of these men, mostly priests at the Kedarnath shrine —like Shukla's husband — cannot hope to pick up the pieces of their lives and contemplate marrying again because of the stringent social norms prevalent in their village. Shukla, who is one of the few widows from the village to move out -- she is currently pursuing higher education in Dehradun -- said that many widows would like to remarry but fear severe backlash from villagers.

Requesting TOI to refrain from using her real name as she feared for the safety of her family back home, she said, "The social organisations which are helping widows in my village are doing praiseworthy work in bringing our lives back on track. But more than financial aid, what we require is urgent intervention to change the mindsets of villagers who are against widows remarrying."...

Most of the families in Deoli are Brahmins who have traditionally been employed as priests at Kedarnath. Ved Prakash, the village pradhan, cites the villagers' "high caste lineage" as the primary reason why it is taboo for widows to remarry. "There has not been even a single incident in our area of a widow getting remarried. Remarrying is not a part of our culture or tradition. We have followed this custom for many centuries. The girl is either asked to stay in her maternal home or with in-laws, whatever is her preference."

A few women from the village whom TOI spoke to said that they could not even think of broaching the subject of remarrying with their family members because they would be accused of breaking the village's centuries-old tradition. "We are constantly given the example of older women who have embraced their widowhood and told to follow their lead. We are also human and feel loneliness and want to lead happy lives. But it seems that we are destined to die as widows," said a woman who did wish to be named.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/help-us-get-married-say-women-in-ukhands-village-of-widows/articleshow/59274886.cms

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Re: Uttarakhand: Help us get married say women in 'village of widows'

Post by Rashmun on Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:45 pm

The barbaric side of Hinduism on display.

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Re: Uttarakhand: Help us get married say women in 'village of widows'

Post by SomeProfile on Fri Jun 23, 2017 2:43 pm

Doggy helps Naayi:


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Re: Uttarakhand: Help us get married say women in 'village of widows'

Post by Vakavaka Pakapaka on Fri Jun 23, 2017 4:16 pm

SomeProfile wrote:Doggy helps Naayi:

Who is stopping Rashmun? By marry them (4 are allowed by his Gaud), he will accomplish both his agendas - H-M synthesis and social reform......

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Re: Uttarakhand: Help us get married say women in 'village of widows'

Post by Rashmun on Fri Jun 23, 2017 8:04 pm

The first women settled on the stony slope outside Kabul in the 1990s hoping to escape the stigma those like them are forced to endure.
Today it is known as Afghanistan’s “hill of widows,” home to a cluster of women who have eked out independence in a society that shuns and condemns them as immoral.
The rocky summit 15km southeast of the capital has gradually been swallowed by the city, becoming a distant Kabul suburb.

However, for its residents, it remains Zanabad, the city of women.
The matriarch of Zanabad, Bibi Ul-Zuqia, known as “Bibikoh,” died last year.
Her eldest daughter, 38-year-old Anissa Azimi, has a husband — but in a rare step for married women in conservative Afghanistan, has taken up the matriarchal torch.
Their house is one of the first when you arrive in Zanabad by a broken track, at the bottom of a passage barred with a tarp to protect privacy.
“My mother arrived here 15 years ago” with her five children, Anissa said, sitting on carpets and assaulted by a swarm of children.

Bibikoh lost a first husband, killed by a rocket, before being remarried to a brother-in-law, who then died from an illness.
She was scratching a living doing laundry for others, but found Kabul rents too expensive.
Land was cheap in Zanabad, Anissa said.
The first widows had already begun to lay down their belongings and their grief in the largely deserted suburb to form a tightly-knit community — though no one any longer knows exactly who began it, and when.

“They encouraged the others [widows] to join them,” Anissa said. “The main idea was to get a cheap and safe place ... a permanent address.”
Soon it became a haven for destitute and desperate women who had lost their husbands.
Bibikoh organized literacy classes, sewing workshops and food distributions with the support of a non-governmental organization, said researcher Naheed Esar, who studied the community for several years for the Afghan Analysts Network.

Women are perceived as being owned by their father before becoming their husband’s property. Widows are often rejected as immoral or regarded as burdens: They suffer violence, expulsion, ostracism and sometimes forced remarriage, often with a brother-in-law, as reported by the UN Mission in Afghanistan in a rare study published in 2014.

It is estimated there are as many as 2.5 million widows in Afghanistan. Often uneducated and cloistered at home, the women have few options if their husbands die.
At best, they receive US$150 per year from the government if their husband was killed in fighting. They survive by doing household chores, a little sewing, or by sending their children to beg in the bazaar.

“In Afghanistan, men usually provide financial support for women, so it is hard for women to lose this support,” Afghan Ministry of Women’s Affairs spokeswoman Kobra Rezai said.
A policy providing aid for poor women was approved in 2008, but never ratified, she added.
Sixteen years after the end of the Taliban regime, families are bereaved every day by an intensifying conflict. Zanabad has been home to as many as 500 widows. Anissa is trying to keep the list up to date, but as insecurity spirals more and more displaced families are seeking refuge in the outskirts of Kabul.

“Everywhere there is war. People are joining us,” she said.

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/world/archives/2017/06/24/2003673209

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