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  • Writer's pictureAnustup Kundu

The Remarkable Exhibition Lest We Forget: A Sisterhood Called White Highlighted the Unforgettable Lives of the Vrindavan Widows

Updated: Jan 21

News Desk, News Nation 360 : "Lest We Forget: A White Sisterhood"- a unique exhibition by Kounteya Sinha, one of India's most potent and renowned visual storytellers, which for the first time lifts the curtain on the unseen lives of Vrindavan's widows by photographing them going about their daily lives inside the ashrams' boundaries. Chief Guest His Excellency C.V. Ananda Bose, the Governor of West Bengal, Honourable Guest Renu Ma, the oldest widow in India at 106 years old, Winnie Singh, renowned humanitarian, Oiendrilla Ray Kapur, Curator & Creative Director, and Kounteya Sinha and Rana Pandey, exhibition photographers, were all present to officially open the exhibition. The exhibition's photographer, Kounteya Sinha, is renowned throughout the world for his unmatched human storytelling.

He spent 11 days in Vrindavan documenting the lives of the widows there. They were thrilled to converse with a Bengali and reveal their daily routine, which consists of singing bhajans in the morning for a cup of tea and biscuits and a meagre amount of money, begging on the streets until dusk, and then making their way back to their shared shanties, which they pay an astounding Rs. 1000 a month. In the evening, some move to the lanes that line the ghats, as there are more opportunities to find charities there. The number of these impoverished widows is a mystery to everyone. It's interesting to note that Kounteya Sinha is receiving the oldest widow in India, who has spent the last ten years living in Vrindavan, as a special guest. For the first time in ten years, she went back to her Bengali home. The 106-year-old Renu Ma, as she is affectionately known, was born in Belgharia, West Bengal, but has resided in the widow ashrams of Vrindavan since 2014.

She recently celebrated her 106th birthday by cutting the birthday cake alongside Governor Bose. Even though she is now unable to speak, Renu Ma gives Sinha an intimate look into her life by letting him take pictures of her going about her everyday activities, including praying, weightlifting, and drawing. Present on the occasion Kounteya Sinha said that the world of the ashrams' existence is hidden and invisible. Seldom has information about the standard of their living surface. Conventional wisdom has long discussed the appalling conditions faced by Vrindavan's widows. However, a lot of positive changes have occurred over time. He agreed that not everyone has been impacted by that change. Many widows still require that assistance. However, many of them have gained access to improved healthcare, wholesome food, warm clothing, better quality of life, and most importantly, a life of dignity. He wanted to share that story because he witnessed it firsthand.

Pic - Courtesy



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