NEW DELHI: Expressing concern over the plight of widows who are forced to live a life of destitute after being abandoned by family members, the Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Centre to frame scheme to promote their remarriage to bring them in mainstream society.
A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said that although the government had framed many schemes over the years for rehabilitation of widows but it failed to uplift their life and they continued to live a miserable life after being dumped by their family in holy places like Vrindavan. It said that the Centre must take steps to remove the social stigma attached to widowhood and also to rehabilitate them by imparting skills so that they could lead an independent life.
“There is no proposal for remarriage of widows, particularly of young widows. Because of prevailing social ethos against widows, we have to encourage them to remarry. There is no such scheme framed by you in your various policies. It must be considered,” the SC bench told the Centre.
The number of widows in the country has increased tremendously between 2001 and 2011. As per census data, the number of widows in the country was only 18.5 lakh, which was 0.7% of the total population in 2001, but in 2011, it went up to 5.6 crore, which was 4.6% of the entire population. India is home to the largest number of widows in the world, followed by China with around five crore widows.
As carried in TOI on 20.7.2017