sulabh swatchh bharat

Friday, 14-December-2018

there-is-no-turning-back-from-happiness

DEVI - “THERE IS NO TURNING BACK FROM HAPPINESS”

15 weeks ago
“Nah! Why would I want to go back when everything is good here; when I am happy here…” Yes, she is happy. It is visible from the way she talks with a spark in her eyes, the joy with which she tells about Vrindavan, the way she laughs each time she attempts speaking in Hindi and each time when someone fails to understand her Bengali accent. It has been a decade in Vrindavan for Devi. She originally belongs to Ranaghat, Nadia district, West Bengal. Her story is not very different from her widow-inmates living with her, but her optimistic approach towards life sure is. Devi was a 7-year-old little g...
you-just-have-to-have-a-pure-heart-and-god-is-with-you

PROMILA VISWAS - ‘YOU JUST HAVE TO HAVE A PURE HEART AND GOD IS WITH YOU’

17 weeks ago
Promila Viswas roams the streets of Vrindavan and she loves making incense sticks. “My eyes are a little weak so I am not able to do sewing a lot, but making incense sticks… that is something I enjoy. Something I love doing. Apart from these I read Bhagavad Gita, do jaap, bhajan…” she would tell her daily schedule beamingly, each time you ask her. But it was not always like this. Promila originally belongs to Orissa. She was mere 12 years old when she was married to an 18-year-old boy. The still-in-naïve-age-couple, however, took up on this new phase of life. In course of time,...
she-faced-many-losses-now-she-is-redefining-life

DURGA DUTT - SHE FACED MANY LOSSES, NOW SHE IS REDEFINING LIFE

18 weeks ago
“I was only 2.5-year-old when my father passed away. I had a sister who, too, died at an early age. Even so, after marriage I decided to start my life afresh, one filled with happiness and smiles. But plans for life never work out the way you draw them. I am no exception. So that is what happened with me…” Kolkata’s Durga Dutt was married off at very young age but she that never meant she was not happy with this new life or that she didn’t have dreams to make it into a beautiful one. Yes, there were some difficulties keeping up with the challenges of a married woman – after all she was...
vrindavan-will-give-back-the-real-me

KOLLANI PAL - ‘VRINDAVAN WILL GIVE BACK THE REAL ME’

19 weeks ago
“I am unable to make that moment skip my head when the doctor made me aware of the bitter reality… At that moment I felt as though either everything falls into place and gets better, or the God should just lift me from this life.” Something that Kollani Pal distinctly recalls each time someone asks about her pre-Vrindavan days – back when she lived in Birbhum (a district in West Bengal). Kollani Pal was married at a very tender age, as was common in those days. Life was flowing smoothly. Her husband had a well-earning job. The family also had a farm. Two sources of income made life easier f...
i-am-a-sanyasi-not-an-activist

‘I AM A SANYASI, NOT AN ACTIVIST’

20 weeks ago
Environment means the balance of living beings. Whatever there is in the world of organisms - earth, sky, water, fire, air, stars, different living beings - these are all part of the environment. Today, because of global warming and the scorching rise of temperatures, glaciers are melting. The way in which greenery is being destroyed, it is not just the forests but the wealth of forests that is being lost; the manner in which availability of water, the flow of rivers is being affected, whose continuity, serenity, purity, continuous nature has been destroyed. At the same time, the changes in untimely seasons, excessive rains, sho...
in-the-end-nothing-matters-but-your-true-devotion

PARULBALA - ‘IN THE END, NOTHING MATTERS BUT YOUR TRUE DEVOTION’

20 weeks ago
Life is uncertain, that is true. It is a mix of smooth highways and bumpy roads, that is well known. But it will give you a series of ‘strokes-after-strokes’, that is not something one is always prepared for. And that is what Kolkata’s Parulbala Ghosh had to face unfortunately. Parulbala was 16-year-old when she was married to a 20-year-old man. Her husband worked in a factory. The income was not much but sufficient for the couple to row their merry life. They were having a beautiful time of their life. In the course of time, Parulbala gave birth to three children – two boys and a girl. The ...
vrindavan-the-answer-to-lifes-struggles

MENUKA - VRINDAVAN, THE ANSWER TO LIFE’S STRUGGLES

21 weeks ago
“The constant pain of loneliness and the white color of widowhood became my new life partners. I was so stuck in the chains forced on me by the society, that there was no way out. But just then Kanha’s city, Vrindavan, gave me the support I needed and gave a meaning to my life.” The emptiness in the life of a widow is such that it seems impossible to fill. On top of that, when the society puts its restrictions on her, the pain becomes nearly unbearable. Such is the story of Menuka Pal, who once lived in the city of Siliguri in West Bengal. At the tender age of 10, Menuka got married to an 18-year-...
violence-torture-scars-vrindavan-helped-her-forget-it-all

REENA GUPTA - VIOLENCE, TORTURE, SCARS – VRINDAVAN HELPED HER FORGET IT ALL

22 weeks ago
When you least expect it, life throws you a curveball. And that is what happened with Gadchiroli’s (a district in Maharashtra) Reena Gupta. Reena was married at the age of 12 to a 20-year-old man who hailed from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). Despite getting married at such a young age, life was all sunshine and rainbows for her, all the while until 1971. The horrors of the 1971 Bangladesh Genocide turned hopes into despair for thousands and thousands who witnessed it, and one among them was Reena. The nine-month-long conflict saw military crackdown, ethnic violence, murders, rapes, and what not. &ldq...
when-the-unexpected-knocked-on-her-door

TRILOKA - WHEN THE UNEXPECTED KNOCKED ON HER DOOR

23 weeks ago
It was one and a half year ago when Triloka came from Purulia (a district in West Bengal) to Vrindavan. This was some 16 years after the hardships of widowhood had overshadowed her life. But we will get to that later. Triloka was (then) mere 12-year-old when she got married to a 25-year-old man. The age gap of the couple seems huge today, but back in those days it was as normal as it gets. She was not the first girl in her society to get married at such an early age, nor was her husband the first man to marry a girl lesser than half his age. It was all very normal, very basic. Yes, very basic. Triloka...
no-more-hardships-no-more-worries

PUSHPA DASI - NO MORE HARDSHIPS, NO MORE WORRIES

24 weeks ago
Pushpa Dasi of West Medinipur, West Bengal, came to Vrindavan four years ago on a permanent basis. It was not like she had troubles with her son or his wife. Yes, there were differences, as it is natural, but not so major that she would get compelled to take drastic measures. What made Pushpa Dasi leave her home, even she didn’t realise till she actually did. Pushpa Dasi was then an 11-year-old little girl when she was married to a 22-year-old boy. The family was very poor. Her husband was a beggar. Money was a big question mark. One the top of it, in the course of time, she gave birth to four daughter...
she-relied-on-her-children-and-life-took-an-unexpected-turn

TORULATA - SHE RELIED ON HER CHILDREN AND LIFE TOOK AN UNEXPECTED TURN

25 weeks ago
She was 14. He was 50. She got married to him. It was like, when she tied knots, she was also making a clear foreseen deal with a long life of widowhood which was to knock on the door sooner than it actually should. And that is what happened. Torulata of Balurghat, West Bengal, has been a widow for long now. Her aged husband with time developed breathing issues and died of age. By then she had a daughter and two sons. The three children were married off in time before their father died. Torulata says that although her husband died but only after all the important responsibilities were off her shoulder. &ldqu...
vrindavan-healed-her-scars-gave-her-peace

PRATIBHA - VRINDAVAN HEALED HER SCARS, GAVE HER PEACE

26 weeks ago
“I am not a widow, but I was never a wife, either. It was all a lie. They said his wife was mentally ill and that he and his children needed me. It was all a lie. All they wanted was a free of cost full-time maid. I was never really wanted, just needed. It was all a lie...” and then she stopped speaking, saying there is no point discussing it now. So goes the story of Pratibha Roy of Balarampur in West Medinipur, West Bengal who has maintained an on-again, off-again relation with Vrindavan since 2003.  Pratibha was married at the age of 15 to a man who was more than double her age (32), and this wa...