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The news of farmer suicides has grabbed immense media attention. Can we provide solace to the ruptured lives of the widows of Indian farmers?
Joshna Wandile was widowed when her farmer husband, unable to repay the debt, committed suicide. Joshna’s woes do not end here. Her in-laws have taken the extreme step of throwing her out of the house. She is in a miserable condition.
Dealing with grief and social isolation at the same time, she has to shoulder the responsibility of bringing up her children all by herself. This was one such story among hundreds of women whose tears go unnoticed while they muster up courage to face the brutal world.
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Hundreds of widows like Joshna Wandile, are facing the brunt of the severe drought that has perished their lives. Married at a younger age, these women neither have access to education nor finances. They are also subjected to constant humiliation and taunts by the community and are blamed for their husband’s death. The society denies them food and labels them as ‘inauspicious’.
In most cases, the wife’s own family refutes to accept her as she is perceived as an unnecessary burden. In extreme cases, they accept their widowed daughters but treat them as slaves. Caught in a quagmire, they often resort to prostitution and trafficking to repay their husband’s debts.
According to a report, India has the maximum number of widows in the world. Swept over by feelings of helplessness, these widows suffer in silence. A series of reforms, at different levels, needs to be implemented to help them wriggle out of their situations. Psychologists and counselors must be employed in such areas that help the widows pass through this turbulent phase of their lives.
The government must provide them with financial assistance and equip them with the skills required to sustain their livelihood. Rehabilitating them, both physically and mentally, should be on top of the government’s bucket list. Survival of widows is difficult but not impossible. Backed by emotional and financial support by family and society, these women have the ability to prosper and contribute to the society in a productive way.
Image Source – Morungexpress.com
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