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Nearly 2,000 widows who have been abandoned by society and their families live in government shelters lacking basic amenities in India's northern city Vrindavan. The Supreme Court last year said the women should be given the resources and support they need to live their lives with dignity. One organization is trying to make that ruling a reality.

在印度 北部城市温达文,将近2000名寡妇 被社会和家人抛弃,生活在 政府开设的缺乏基本设施的收容所里。去年,印度最高法院表示,应该给 妇女资源和帮助,让她们 过上有尊严的生活。一家机 构正在努力履行法院的裁决。

Arati Mistry had almost given up on life. Married at 16 and widowed just two years later, the now 55-year-old recalls how she could barely make ends meet.

阿拉迪·米斯特 里曾经想过轻生,她16岁结婚,2年后就成了寡妇,现在55岁的米 斯特里回忆起她是如何艰难度日的。

“I used to wonder, how can I survive? I went through hardship. I used to ask for food, work in people’s homes. I couldn’t take it anymore, so I came here,” she recalled.


Mistry and nearly 900 other widows in Vrindavan are now getting a second chance, after being adopted by the Indian non-governmental organization Sulabh International.

非政府 机构苏拉布国际组织接纳了温达文市的米斯特里和将近900名其他寡妇,给了她们再生的机会。

After last year's Supreme Court ruling nothing the widow's deplorable living conditions, the court suggested that Sulabh could help out. Now the self-funded group provides food, medical care, a roughly $40 monthly stipend, schooling and vocational training for those living in the city’s government-run shelters.

去年,最高法 院就寡妇的恶劣生活条件作出裁决后,建议苏 拉布组织给予帮助。现在这 个自筹资金的组织为那些生活在政府庇护所里的寡妇提供食物和医疗,还有美月大约40美元的生活费,以及就学和职业培训。

Sulabh founder Bindeshwar Pathak says it’s a dramatic change for many women who were cast out of their homes by family members and ostracized by society, often left to beg near temples to survive.

苏拉布 组织的创始人本德施瓦·帕萨克说,很多妇 女被家庭成员赶出家门,遭到社会排斥,通常只 能在寺庙附近乞讨为生。对她们来说,这是一个巨大的变化。

“Ten months ago, they wanted to die, now they want to live longer to enjoy life, they are very happy. In that way we have brought about a change in the minds of women, because they now they get all the facilities,” he said.

帕萨克说:“10个月前,她们都想去死,现在她们都想活下去,享受生活,她们很幸福。我们通 过这个方法改变了妇女的想法,因为她 们拥有所有资助。”

Many of these widows had no way of supporting themselves and traveled from the eastern state of West Bengal to live their remaining years at Vrindavan, known as the birthplace of the Hindu god Krishna.

这些寡妇中,很多人不能自立,她们从 东部的西孟加拉邦来到温达文渡过余生,温达文 是印度教克里希纳神的诞生地。

Although Indian society is slowly changing, for centuries widows have been seen as inauspicious and sometimes even blamed for their husband’s death. Resigned to an austere and isolated life, many are not allowed to participate in religious functions such as marriages.

虽然印 度社会正在缓慢地改变,可是几个世纪来,寡妇被 认为是不详之物,甚至被 指责导致了她们丈夫的死亡。很多寡 妇只能过着艰苦和孤独的生活,她们不 能参加婚礼等宗教活动。

But this year, for the first time in decades, these women celebrated the Hindu festival Holi. Sociology Professor Ravi Prakash Pandey says Sulabh is giving the women an opportunity to rejoin mainstream society.

不过今年,这些妇 女几十年来第一次庆祝印度教洒红节。社会学教授拉维·潘迪说,苏拉布 组织让这些妇女回归主流的机会。

“Sulabh is providing not only a financial support but also providing a radical change to eradicate the social taboos which have already been imposed by society,” he said.

潘迪说:“苏拉布 组织不仅提供资金援助,而且还 为取消社会禁区带来极大的变革。”

Many widows like Arti Mistry say Sulabh's free health care, higher standard of living and amenities like televisions have meant dramatic changes in their lives in just a few months.

米斯特 里等很多寡妇说,苏拉布 组织提供的免费医疗、高水准 的生活和电视等设施,让她们 的生活在几个月里发生了巨大的改变。

“I have so much peace. God has sent me these people for a peaceful life that even my parents could not provide for me. I am leading a new, peaceful life,” she said.

米斯特里说:“我平静多了,神派这 些人给我带来平静的生活,连我的父母都做不到,我过上 了新的平静的生活。”

The women here say they now have a purpose and a future they never thought was possible.

这些妇女说,她们现 在有了生活目标和一个从来不敢想象的未来。



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