Appeal for donations
The life stories of these women are all similar. They come from poor backgrounds and are now single. They married young and many are illiterate. Their husbands were small farmers who were made reliant on the greedy chemical agriculture industry and were driven to suicide.
When their husbands took their own lives, the women were still in their mid-twenties and were confronted with a huge mountain of debt. In many cases their belongings were confiscated or sold for a miserable price. Some women were cast out by their family. As a widow in India you are automatically viewed as a disgrace. After the death of their husbands, the women are never again allowed to take part in religious or family celebrations, even when their own children, who they brought up under great hardship, get married. In some places in India widows hardly dare to venture out on to the streets, as just the mere sight of them is said to bring bad luck. These 15 women have teemed up and managed to cope a little better with their desperate situation. They live in three neighbouring villages and visit and support each other. Although their children have grown up, the struggle for survival continues.
To the supporters of our projects: with your help we’d like to offer every woman an unconditional subsidy towards their living costs. Every contribution from us, large or small, brings great relief to the difficult lives of these women.
The photo below shows the entire room in which one of the women lives with her 20-year-old daughter. The roof leaks and looks like it could collapse at any moment. The floor is made from tamped down earth.
It’s hard to imagine what it would be like to live in this hut during the monsoon or the scorching summer when the temperature reaches 45°c.
They have nothing except for these utensils and ten sheep.