After the death of the husbands, with the aim of confiscating the entire property due to the widowed women, the close relatives - brothers and sisters of the husband - bring in false allegations related to morality and try to chase widows out of the house.
Even if widows progress economically through their hardwork, the people around them take their possessions and properties away.
Considering that most of the widows are illiterate, they are not aware of the welfare schemes sponsored by the government. When they apply for such schemes, utilizing their ignorance, some corrupt government officials will try to extract money from them. Government officials on their part make widows run pillar to post through their misleading guidance. Furthermore, they threaten them of confiscating their ration-cards, if they continue to demand their rights.
Widows in general are involved in coolie work (daily wage earning). The salary given to them is not in anyway equal to the salary given to male counterparts. The difference in salary between the two genders is actually very large. Hence, widows struggle to meet the basic needs of the family. They are also unable to provide education to their children. The children then are forced to give up any hope of an education and join their mother in coolie works.
In the midst of all these hardships, the widows cannot think of saving anything for their future needs. They are forced to borrow money from moneylenders for urgent needs. Usually, nobody comes forward to lend money to widows. When a widow is fortunate enough to find a moneylender, she is forced to borrow money with high interest rates.
Friends of Kalangarai is a newly formed non-profit organization in the U.S. that supports the community-based programs of Kalangarai. These programs include micro-credit self-help groups, skills training, children’s educational programs, and a community college. More than 1000 widowed and abandoned women and their families participate in these programs.
Friends is currently raising funds for the educational programs for the children and young adults. The “How to Help” page provides information on how you can make a difference in the lives of these children and young people.