In general, widows and deserted women in Nagai district have average health. The younger women are still more energetic while the older women are emaciated due to long years of hard work and battering against the oppression of the society culturally, which affect them psychologically and economically aswell.
Before the death of their husbands, the widows have not been exposed to hardwork or pretty much any work that was out of the house. During the hard moments of their husband's ill health, they started their difficult trials and have borne the loss of all the little wealth they had. Following the death of their husband, they are forced to work and earn their livelihood, for caring for their children. Let down by their parental relations as well as the in-laws, the grim situation of facing life with nothing but their own hands and feet. Not only are the widows now marginalized, but completely left alone. It is pure determination for a happier family that keeps these widows going.
Deserted women on the other hand are emaciated even in the beginning of the seperation. Not only does the society treat them with disrespect, but they have bitter memories of the ill-treatment by their husbands. Their only hope and consolation is her child/children where they draw positive energy from their innocent smiles and dependence on them for their affection. Their strength is sustained in a bitter fight against all odds.
Friends of Kalangarai is a 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.