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Widows by relatives: housing, monthly grant
The Times of India, Apr 12 2016
After SC prod, grant for widows hiked by 292%
Dhananjay Mahapatra `White Shadows of Vrindavan' spurred an NGO to move a PIL in the Supreme Court for improving the pitiable condition of widows abandoned by their relatives.
It took 29 hearings, untiring efforts from advocate Ravindra Bana and the sensitiveness of a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and N V Ramana to force the government to provide adequate housing for them and increase the monthly grant from Rs 1,300 to Rs 5,100 (by 292%) from January 1this year. After giving relief to the widows of Vrindavan, the bench of Justices Lokur and Ramana turned its attention to other parts of Uttar Pradesh, and the states of West Bengal, Odisha and Uttarakhand. It asked National Commission for Women to “make a detailed inquiry and give a report to the SC about the condition of shel ter homes for widows“ in these states by April 22.
Additional solicitor general P S Patwalia informed the bench that in addition to refurbishing the five homes for widows in Vrindavan, three of which are funded by the Centre and two by the state, the Union government had undertaken the construction of a new home to house 1,000 widows at Vrindavan, at a cost of Rs 57 crore. The home will be operational by December 2017, he said, adding that the government has also agreed to provide an annual grant of Rs 4 crore for maintenance of the homes.