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Holi: Vrindavan widows to present gulaal and sweets to 'Modi bhaiya'

These widows played Holi at the historic Gopinath Temple here for the sixth consecutive year, breaking the Indian tradition where widows are shunned from such festivities


IANS  |  Vrindavan 

Holi, Vrindavan
Widows participate in Holi celebrations at the ancient Gopinath Temple in Vrindavan on Tuesday in an event organized by Sulabh International.| Photo: PTI

Widows from Vrindavan town in Uttar Pradesh will send dry colours, gulaal, to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Holi, an official said on Tuesday.

These widows played at the historic Gopinath Temple here for the sixth consecutive year, breaking the Indian tradition where widows are shunned from such festivities.

Unlike usual Holi, it was a festival of colours with a difference as hundreds of widows, clad in white sarees, came out of the Ashrams to play with colours and applied colour on each other at the temple in the pilgrim town of Vrindavan.

Apart from celebrating with 'widow sisters', they have prepared and arranged herbal gulaal of various colours in 11 big earthen pots to be handed over to the authorities at the Prime Minister's residence on Wednesday.

Ninety-five-year-old Manu Ghosh said they had accepted Modi as a brother and had arranged special dry colours for him this year.

"It's a love from thousands of widow sisters to Modi Bhaiya as a symbol of freedom from age-old practice," said 81-year-old Kanak Prabha.

Five widows from Vrindavan will go to Delhi to hand over gulaal and sweets to the Prime Minister.

Holi, Vrindavan
A widow looks on as she participates in celebrations at the ancient Gopinath Temple in Vrindavan on Tuesday. | Photo: PTI

For the last couple of years some widows went to tie Rakhis to Modi on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan at his official residence in the capital.

Sulabh founder Bindeshwar Pathak, who organised Holi for widows in Vrindavan, said they have struck a special bond with the Prime Minister.

In many parts of India, widows are not permitted to play Holi. Since 2012, Sulabh has been looking after around 1,000 widows in Vrindavan and Varanasi and organising rituals to bring them back into the mainstream of society.

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First Published: Tue, February 27 2018. 22:31 IST