In a bid to improve the livelihood of widows and destitute women in Mathura and Vrindavan, the Supreme Court on Tuesday directed temples in the two cities to donate all flowers offered to them to shelter homes.
By doing so, the top court said women in these shelter homes run by the Uttar Pradesh government can use the flowers to make perfumes, incense sticks (agarbattis) and so on, thereby providing a means of livelihood for them.
The Supreme Court further sought consideration from the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) to extend this scheme to all major temple towns such as Varanasi, Tirupati, and others, keeping in mind the welfare of widows and destitute women.
The apex court also directed all state governments to provide details of shelter homes being run, number of widows and destitute women residing in these homes as well as the schemes in place for the welfare of these women to the aforementioned ministry so that the functioning of the schemes can be monitored and extended to multiple states, wherever necessary.
The plight of widows in places like Mathura and Vrindavan has been examined by authorities time and again, and measures are being taken to improve living conditions and eradicate the social stigma surrounding them after being abandoned by their families.
In July last year, the top court while expressing concern over the plight of widows who are forced to live a life of destitution, asked the Centre to frame schemes to promote their remarriage. The court stated that the Centre must take steps to rehabilitate them by imparting skills, thereby helping make them independent.
Further to this, the Supreme Court in August had constituted a five-member team to ensure proper rehabilitation for the Vrindavan widows, suggest steps and measures that could be taken to rehabilitate, compensate and make lives of the women residing in Vrindavan better.