20,000 widows in Vrindavan are living without their most basic resources.
These are women who were shunned by their villages after the death of their husbands and left to survive as beggars. Many have traveled thousands of miles across India to take refuge in Vrindavan, hoping to find a community there.
By empowering these women to help take part in and uplift Vrindavan's communities, they too can live the life they deserve.
This woman begs in the streets of Radha Kunda, the entirety of her belongings beside her.
Hear Their Stories
"In my village, they would sell girls to men as wives. When my husband died, I was given nothing, no support". - anonymous
Empowering the widows of Vrindavan supports all women and girls
When we make a concerted effort to support Vrindavan's most vulnerable women, we're making a statement for the protection and empowerment of all women and girls.
But that's not all, by addressing the issues the widows of Vrindavan suffer, we're paving a path so that no woman or girl has to face the same challenges.
HERE'S WHERE IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE
QUALITY OF LIFE
95% of widows were married as children. Most were married before they were 15 years old, widowed by 30, and left to spend the rest of their life begging for survival.
By empowering widows, we can disrupt social stigmas against widows and mitigate unhealthy practices towards young girls. Not only that, but by showing the value of these women in society and allow them the opportunity for a life of quality, they can lead the way for a better future for all women.
90% of widows are uneducated and illiterate, growing up in poor rural villages without access to education.
Giving widows opportunities to learn skill sets, access to educational resources, and financial stability, widows can become strong and stable in society. Empowering widows sets standards for providing skillsets and education to girls.
80% of widows lack access to healthcare and struggle with illness, primarily due to a lack of sanitation: access to clean water, toilets, or soap.
When widows can provide for themselves financially and live independently, they no longer have to live in the streets or crowded ashrams, keeping them in unsanitary situations leading to illness. It also means that local healthcare systems are no longer over-burdened by preventable illnesses and can better support their patients. Through a supported community, widows are also more likely to receive the healthcare they need.
COMMUNITY & ENVIRONMENT
78% of widows fear for their wellbeing. Living as a societal outcast, widows are left alone and abandoned.
Creating a community for widows provides safety and care and strengthens the community as a whole. When widows are empowered, they take on community initiatives and nourish and protect the local environment.
55 Million widows in India 20,000 live in Vrindavan.
90% of those women are illiterate & abandoned by their families.
Only widows over 60 receive a government pension, but it's worth only $5 a month.
Social stigmas leave most widows shunned and left to beg in the streets.
HOW WE'RE EMPOWERING WIDOWS OF VRINDAVAN
We offer widows daily community services with salaries double the local standard. These women are preparing daily meals for women in their community and local men, women, and children in poverty. They're creating gardens, cleaning and maintaining 5,000-year-old historical sites, and globally recognized sacred waters around Govardhan, India.
By giving widows paid and meaningful engagement, they become empowered, uplift their communities, and provide futures for themselves and others.
Rohini was widowed when she was only 36 years old. Today she is the assistant manager of RadhaSeva and takes care of hundreds of women and locals in need.