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Vrindavan widows back home in Kolkata for Durga Puja

Press Trust of India  |  Kolkata 

A group of widows who had taken shelter in the holy town of Vrindavan today came back to their home state for celebrating Durga Puja.

Amid rolling of drums and blowing of conch shells at their reception in Howrah station, the 60 widows who are mostly in their 70s and 80s are on a week-long tour to the city as part of a process to bring them back to mainstream society.

They called on West Bengal Governor N K Tripathi at Raj Bhavan.

Going down memory lane, the widows took a ferry across the river Ganga and visited some city landmarks during the tour organised by NGO Sulabh International.

Apart from visiting Puja pandals, they plan to visit Kalighat temple and Victoria Memorial too.

Tomorrow they plan to take a tram ride and also meet state Minister of Women and Child Welfare Shashi Panja.

The widows were in recently after actor-turned- politician Hema Malini described them as "outsiders". They hope to meet West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on this count.

Hema Malini recently said that widows from Bengal and Bihar should go back to their respective states to avail government relief and shelter and not crowd Vrindavan and Mathura to earn their livelihood.

NGO Sulabh is looking after 1,000 Vrindavan widows as part of a Supreme Court directive to remove the stigma attached to their lives.

First Published: Fri, September 26 2014. 21:58 IST