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“ELDERLY WIDOWS”

Maitri translates as Compassion, loving-kindness. Hence compassion in life and addressing another human with loving kindness has been the motto for all our projects. We work ensuring Identity, Dignity and Respect for all our populations.

Identity, Dignity and Respect for Widows of Vrindavan.

An ageing, elderly widow, after the death of her husband goes through multiple levels of subordination and abuse because of her identity of being a woman, widow and ageing. Most Widows are victims of domestic violence, inflicted by their own family members, including their sons and relatives. They are abandoned, left homeless and destitute to live on the streets of Vrindavan, begging. They are exploited at various levels, financially and emotionally.

Maitri has constructed Old Age Homes for widow mothers in Vrindavan where they can live with identity, dignity and respect. It’s a HOME for them.

About Jeewan: In 2008, Maitri founders on a visit to Vrindavan, came across this unique population known as Widows of Vrindavan. Seeing their frail health and destitution, they felt a strong need to make a difference in the life of these beautiful women who are all mothers. It was strongly felt that a woman and more so a mother should never have to put her hand out for survival. She has a right to live with respect and dignity.After numerous discussions and deliberation amongst the Board members, they came to the conclusion that a cooked nutritious hygienic mid day meal every day, was the need of the hour to ensure better health status. Akshaypatra, an organization with a charter for feeding children, agreed to support Maitri and be the food partner by giving the widow mothers hot, fresh, nutritious hygienic food at a subsidized cost, every day. The State Govt official advised Maitri to start the project with the most destitute widow mothers who were also in fragile health. The program was launched on July 4, 2010 at a Govt run Ashram, Meera Sahbhagini Ashram popularly knows as Pagal Baba Ashram, where at that time 320, the most destitute widows lived.

Known as Project Jeevan, the word Jeewan is translated as Life. Jeewan represents life, a life with dignity. The project’s aim has been to ensure identity, respect and dignity to the ageing, homeless, abandoned and destitute widows. Due to circumstances they have been abandoned and left homeless, to survive begging on the streets of Vrindavan. Maitri believes in a woman’s right to dignity in life and death, more so a mother. Maitri objective is to improve the social and economic status, citizenship rights, nutrition, and health of widows living in Vrindavan.

Maitri’s vision is to work towards a world in which each lives with Identity, Dignity, and Respect.

Oxform Dictionary defines Identity as- the fact of being who or what a person or thing is, a close similarity or affinity, a transformation that leaves an object unchanged. To establish or indicate who or what (someone or something) is. These identities are either obtained or assigned by family, society and civil organization. Maitri works to restores the Identity when deprived of or redefine the identity, which marginalizes people.

We all recognize that we all have a deep, human desire to be treated as something of value. When we indicate that feeling, the expression to another, it is called Dignity for the said person. Maitri commits treating every individual with identity, dignity and respect.

A definition of respect includes

  • How you feel about someone and
  • How you treat him/her.

Showing respect to someone means you act in a way that shows you care about his or her feelings and well-being.

Showing respect for others include things like not calling people mean names, treating people with courtesy, caring enough about yourself that you don’t do things you know can hurt you. Maitri believes in working with and for respect for every person.

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