Customs and Traditions Affecting the Widows

Considered as an Ill-omen

In Indian Society, widows are being mistreated. Their very presence is considered as an ill-omen (something which brings bad luck). Hence they are ostracised and side-lined. Their leadership at any level is abominable.

Emotional and Verbal Abuse

The community disregards the feelings of the widows. It is quite common to see verbal abuse thrown on widows through traditional sayings. They are usually accused of being arrogant and shameless when the widows attempt to live independently. Widows are considered helpless so they are often picked on simply because there is no one to speak on their behalf.

Denial of Rights Regarding Beautification

It is frowned upon for widows to wear traditionally acceptable ornaments. Widows are denied the rights of simple beautification processes by not allowing them to keep flowers on their head, to keep thilak (pottu) on their forehead, to apply tumeric powder on their face, and to wear kolusu (a traditional leg garment)

Putting Blame on the Widows

Widows are blamed for the death of their husbands, even if they had died naturally. They are accused of “swallowing their husbands”, which means the widow brought a curse to the family.

Maltreatment from In-laws

Following the death of their husband, widows are typically looked down upon and denied the basic respect from their families.