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Posted at: Aug 29, 2015, 1:29 AM; last updated: Aug 29, 2015, 1:29 AM (IST)

Vrindavan widows celebrate Rakhi

Vrindavan widows celebrate Rakhi
Widows from Vrindavan tie rakhis on the wrist of the Founder of Sulabh International Bindeshwar Pathak on the eve of Raksha Bandhan during a function in New Delhi on Friday. Tribune photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 28

It was a day with a difference for widows from Vrindavan and Varanasi when they along with empowered manual scavengers from Alwar and Tonk districts of Rajasthan chose to break away from the confines of social traditions and orthodoxy and celebrate Rakhi in the national Capital. 

The otherwise marginalised section, comprising many who had not participated in the Rakhi festival for years now, today had tied silken rakhis on the wrist of Sanskrit scholars here. All thanks to the initiative by Sulabh International which has undertaken many such steps to mainstream them socially. 

Lt Governor Najeeb Jung too was tied rakhis by children to mark the occasion at Raj Niwas. 

It is learnt that a group of five women from manual scavenging background will also tie rakhi to Prime Minister Narendra Modi tomorrow. 

Around 250 women took part in the ceremony organised by Sulabh International at Constitution Club here to reject the age-old tradition of "untouchability".

"Our idea is how to change thoughts, behaviour and attitude of the people of this country towards widows of India, who are their mothers, sisters, aunt and so on. And with this aim in mind, we organise this event," says Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of Sulabh International.

The NGO had earlier organised an Iftar party for widows of Vrindavan and Varanasi to celebrate the holy month of Ramzan. 

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