Vrindavan (UP), Mar 29: Union minister Maneka Gandhi on Tuesday laid the foundation stone of a 1,000-bedded state-of-the-art widow Home here which aims at providing better living condition, vocational training and medical facilities to such women.
"I got widowed when I was 23-years-old and my son was of 100 days. But I still get scared when I think if I was to become widow now and live my life at some other unknown place. I have found a lot of courage in all of you (the widows of Vrindavan)," the Union Women and Child Development Minister said.
"Your service and dedication has given lot of strength to the society," she said.
Around 4,500 widows from all across the country live in various shelter homes in Vrindavan run by both government and self help groups.
Gandhi said the idea of building the country's largest widow home at Vrindavan was inspired by the works of a Nari Shakti Puraskar awardee who used to cremate unclaimed bodies of women.
"It was during our search for women applicants for Nari Shakti Puraskar last year, when we came across this woman who used to cremate unclaimed bodies of women in Vrindavan. Then we decided to build a widow home here where all such women can stay," she said.
The shelter, which is being built by National Building Construction Corporation, is expected to be completed by October. The home is being constructed on 1.424 hectare of land at an estimated cost of Rs 57 Crore (including cost of the land).
The design of the home has been prepared in consultation with 'HelpAge India' and is 'old age' friendly. It will consist of ground plus three floors with the facilities of ramp, lifts, supply of adequate electricity, water and other amenities for meeting the requirement of senior citizens and persons with special challenges, a Ministry statement said.