Fifteen years back, Dhanwanti decided to come to Vrindavan, the holy city of India and devote rest of her life in pursuit of spirituality and peace. In Vrindavan, she rented a small room for a minimal amount and spent most of her time visiting temples in Vrindavan and singing devotional songs.
However, as years passed by the room rent kept increasing beyond her means. Thankfully, in 2013, Maitri India welcomed her to Maitri Ghar, a home for elderly and widow women. “This is a home for me where I can rest, keep my belongings safely, avail facilities like clean bedcovers, fan, filter water, hot water, clean bathroom etc. which otherwise I couldn’t afford”, she says.
Dhanwanti was a bride at fifteen and a widow at eighteen years of age. After three years of their marriage, her husband succumbed to malaria leaving behind Dhanwanti and their two- year-old daughter and four-month-old son.
Illiterate and unskilled, Dhanwanti was economically dependent on her husband. After her husband’s death, she had no other choice but to return to her parents along with her two children. Dhanwanti’s life revolved around raising her two children. Her only goal in life was to see her children married and settled. She placed their happiness above her own. Her family was very accommodating and supported Dhanwanti in every possible way.
Finally, when her children came of age, Dhanwanti managed to choose suitable partners for them and funded both the weddings. Once her children had left the nest, she found herself lonely and purposeless.
Fifteen years back, she decided to come to Vrindavan and devote rest of her life in pursuit of spirituality and peace. However, surviving in Vrindavan was not easy. When she learnt about Maitri Ghar she was relieved.
Dhanwanti and hundred other widows living in Maitri Ghar, Maitri’s Old Age Home, also are provided with nutritious meals, cotton sarees, and regular health check ups.
Today, at the age of sixty-five, Dhanwanti finally lives for her own happiness. She chooses to live in Varindavan as she draws immense joy and happiness in visiting temples and singing bhajans (devotional songs). Maitri Ghar has made it possible for her to continue to enjoy her stay in Varindavan and live comfortably, for which she is very grateful.
If you would like to support Maitri Ghar and the widow mothers of Vrindavan, follow this link: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/old-age-home-for-abandoned-elderly-women-in-india/