Justice Shri A.K. Mishra, Chairperson of, National Human Rights Commission, India today said that leaving widows to fend for themselves has to be discouraged by making it punishable under law to stop this practice. Expressing serious concerns over the living conditions of the widows in Mathura-Vrindavan and Varanasi, he said that the property rights of widows need to be restored to redress their plight and make a way for their dignified living.

Justice Mishra was chairing a meeting on the human rights issues of widows residing in shelter homes in Mathura-Vrindavan and Varanasi. He said that Government functionaries have to be made accountable for the non-implementation of the welfare schemes, if basic amenities are not provided to the destitute widows resulting in violation of their human rights including the right to food, shelter, dignity and property. He said that the ground reality of various shelter homes for the widows need to be assessed at the earliest.

Justice Mishra said that formulating schemes for the welfare of destitute widows is not just sufficient enough unless their proper implementation is ensured. He said that the focus should be on their skill development to make them self-reliant for their livelihood.

Some of the other important suggestions that emerged during the discussions were as follows:-

– Conduct a study to assess the number of widows living in Mathura-Vrindavan and Varanasi;

– Increase their monthly pension to ensure that they may have adequate resources to meet their basic requirements;

– Expand the scope of various welfare schemes, including Aayushman Bharat to extend the benefits to the destitute widows.

National Human Rights Commission

[Press Release dt. 20-07-2021]

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