Vrindavan (UP): The widows of Vrindavan today lit hundreds of earthen lamps at the banks of Yamuna as they today began their three-day Diwali celebrations through which they intend to spread awareness about the need for the river's cleanliness.
They marched towards the river bank in a procession carrying lighted colourful 'diyas' (earthen lamps) and sang spiritual songs.
The widows, who have continued to defy the age-old traditions by celebrating not only Diwali but Holi and Raksha Bandhan, besides taking part in Durga Puja in West Bengal, lit the lamps to ward off darkness in their lives.
Around a thousand widows, mostly from West Bengal, have been residing in ashrams of NGO Sulabh International in Vrindavan for decades. These ashrams were decorated with lights and earthen lamps for Diwali.
"Sulabh will continue with its nationwide campaign for the welfare of widows," the organisation's founder Bindeshwar Pathak said.