If You’re an Indian Widow, Your Children Could Kick You Out and Take Everything


“In India widows are treated as untouchables,” says Bindeshwar Pathak, the founder of Sulabh International, a Delhi-based nonprofit. Sulabh helps around a thousand widows in Vrindavan and Varanasi, giving them a monthly allowance of $31, as well as health care assistance. Sulabh is also working on a draft bill, which it hopes to table in Parliament next year. The draft suggests a monthly pension for abandoned and destitute widows and to make their eviction from either their parental or husband’s house a punishable crime. “They have to give up every thing … and live a life of isolation,” says Pathak. “That it is happening even today is a huge shame.”