All that an ageing mother wants is freedom to be herself

Mahananda bw

Mahananda, 65, is a deeply religious person. She used to devout most of her time in chanting prayers and doing bhajan-kirtan. Some of her family and friends thought she was indulging unnecessarily but for Mahananda, it was deeply personal. She had faith in her prayers and it was a great source of peace for her.

She was married at the age of 22 to a man who was twice her age. Her husband worked hard and provided well for her. Together, they raised a son. About nine years ago, her husband passed away, of natural causes, because of old age. She then lived with her son and daughter-in-law.

Even when her husband was alive, she would travel around places of religious importance. After her husband’s death, Mahananda completely engrossed herself in religious practices. It used to bother her daughter-in-law. Though, her son never berated or stopped her from engaging in prayers, Mahananda didn’t feel quite comfortable around the house.

When she expressed her desire to come and visit Vrindavan, her son was furious and didn’t approve. He warned her that if she did leave the house, she would not be welcomed back. Mahananda mulled over her situation and decided to leave for Vrindavan nevertheless.

She came to Vrindavan and lived in a Ashram for sometime. In Vrindavan she heard about Maitri’s Old Age Home for Widows and came looking for help. Since August 2015, she has been in the care of Maitri’s Old Age Home in Vrindavan.

“I love the fact that we have a big hall and place of worship right in the Home. I can go visit temples every morning and evening without any hesitation. I feel very free and myself here”, she says.

If Maitri had not taken Mahananda into the fold of its care, she would be vulnerable in many ways. So many widows of Vrindavan live in utter poverty and pathetic living conditions. Without a proper source of income, they are forced to beg for survival or work in the temples for a meagre amount.

With the continued support of our well-wishers, we are able to improve living conditions of hundreds of widows on daily basis. We provide daily meals, nourishing food such as milk and fruits, healthcare, clothing and other essentials to widows living in the two Old Age Homes as well as about 100 more widows from the neighbouring places who are regular participants of our program. Please consider donating something today to our Old Age Homes in Vrindavan and Radha Kund.

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