Vrindavan, March 14: In an outburst of freedom and a symbolic revolt against a centuries-old system that reduced Hindu widows to hapless, marginalized and generally ostracized victims, around a thousand women joined Holi festivities, playing with gulal and water colours to the accompaniment of Braj folk songs and music at the 200-year-old Meera Sahabhagini Ashram here Friday.
The merry occasion in a so far uneventful life of the widows was organised by the Sulabh International which looks after those who were thrown out of their homes and are now living in ashrams in Vrindavan.
“What a sight it was to see widows in their 70s and 80s, laughing, dancing and throwing colours at everyone,” said music maestro Acharya Jaimini.
Sulabh International official Madan Jha told IANS: “More than 500 kg of gulal and gallons of coloured water were used.”
“Vrindavan Holi is an effort to free widows from the shackles of an age-old pernicious tradition. The widows will not only play Holi but will also participate in cultural programmes,” Sulabh International Founder Bindeshwar Pathak told IANS.