Widow Holi

Rupam Bhadra

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Springing from the Indian Subcontinent, Holi the ancient Hindu festival ,celebrates happiness with mesmerizing charm of colourful aura, is now popular in various places of the world,even outside India.But some medieval customs of the Hindu Society denies the participation of widows in this merry making.Even they are prevented from each and every colourful discourse of life.That's why,witnessing widow holi at the gopinath temple of Mathura,amazed me.I was lucky to be a part of the festival initated by the NGO SULABH INTERNATIONAL with the aim of discarding the age old practice.They pioneered a new sunrise, introducing Widow Holi and offering chance to the women who are only allowed to be clad in white sarees, lost their right to colour that symbolises joy and happiness.This picture tells of one such story.The widow women in the frame are mostly from Kashi (Banaras) and Bengal to enjoy this very festival.Through this picture I have tried to capture the glitter of festivity,liveliness and spontaneity of those souls who has been victimized by the regressive social norms.This is ,no doubt a story of empathy and kibdness,showered by the authority,the kindness which allows humanitarian approach and change of perspective.

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