A homecoming of different kind

A homecoming of different kind

About 50 widows, all hailing from West Bengal, will visit their native state for the first time since their husbands died and they were shunned by their families.

Sulabh International, an NGO actively engaged in the field of sanitation, which has been taking care of the widows, will take them to Kolkata this Durga Puja so that they may take part in the festivities.  

“The beat of dhaak (drums) associated with Durga Puja cacophony will kindle a new sense of joy among the widows,” Sulabh founder Dr Bindeshwar Pathak told Deccan Herald on Thursday.

The NGO had been engaged in talks with leading ‘puja’ organisers in Kolkata like Pally Mangal Samity Durga Puja (Jodhpur Park), Salt Lake, Singhi Park and Hindustan Park.

Some puja committees like the Pally Mangal Samity have agreed to begin their festivities by making these women to inaugurate the function, Pathak said.

The organisers have also requested Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to felicitate them. They are likely to meet the West Bengal Governor also in this regard.

Pathak said a few days ago, some of the elderly widows had expressed the desire to visit Kolkata during Durga Puja.

“Though it was a good idea, we were apprehensive what kind of reception these women will get during puja festivities,” he said.

“However, we thought this could be a novel idea that would give them a break from their monotonous lives in the ashrams. In the meantime, some organisers approached us and said they would make special arrangements to hold a grand reception for the widows,” he added.

“They have had traumatic lives, but we can always try and make things a little better for them. Their trip to Kolkata is one such effort to bring some joy and sense of belongingness to their lives. They are going back to the land of their ancestors. They are excited as they will fly for the first time,” Dr Pathak added.