[Letters] “Oh! God, please take me first...”There was a ceremony for a newly-wedded couple in India, but the groom’s mother couldn’t participate because she was widowed.
In India, a husband’s death means the wife’s social death. She cannot pursue any pleasure.
Long time ago, the situation was worse. Widows of upper castes were forced to be burned alive with her dead husband, this is called ‘Sati’. In 1929, British government established Sati Prevention Act, but Sati remained for a long time.
In India, a widow is regarded as the most ominous being. Not only alienation from the society, but the inhospitality from the government increases a widow’s misery. Since many widows are left economically incompetent, some of them become a beggar or a prostitute. Since India’s government is barely working on these problems, NGOs like SEWA (Self Employed Women’s Association) is doing their best to improve social statue of widows.
However, without reforms initiated by the government, the widows in India will continuously live a desperate life. Thus, international organizations should pressure India’s government, urging for humanitarian treatments for the widows.
By Ahn Sung-min,
student at Daejeon Foreign Language High School