(Gaurav Arora in KP): Hundreds of widows in Vrindavan town of Mathura district on Thursday voted in the second phase of Lok Sabha elections.
“Today, I voted for the development of my city, for cleanliness. I want that our Ashram keep flourishing and we keep getting pension,” says widow Kusum from Madhya Pradesh, who has been living in Vrindavan for the past 10 years.
While some women live in the government ashrams, others have to live in rented houses across various towns near Vrindavan.
Apart from the monthly pension of Rs 1850 and 35 kg of ration, the state government provides quarterly income to some widows living in government ashrams. However, the lives of women living outside ashrams are a constant struggle, which remains the same, irrespective of the government in power.
Ninety-year-old Tabuat Mandal says, “Five kg out of 35 kg ration we get is misappropriated by the shopkeeper. I want the government to ensure that I get complete ration and that is why I voted today.”
Mandal also says that a house should be allotted to each woman along with an increase in their pension.
Complaining about the Municipal Corporation, Gahdobami Singh who lives in Pagal Baba Ashram says that Municipal Corporation had not heeded repeated requests to them for building a road.
Singh says she is among those women who did not receive benefit from Ayushman Bharat Yojana, the flagship programme launched by PM Narendra Modi in September last year. “I am not able to benefit from the Ayushman Bharat scheme as I do not have my Ayushman card yet,” says Singh.