VeerNaari Shakti Resettlement Foundation addresses both their emotional and financial trauma
WHEN CRPF Constable Shyam Babu was leaving his home in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur Dehat district after a brief visit to join duty, little did the family know that that was the last time they would ever see him. Shortly after, the news of the 30-year-old soldier’s death in the dastardly terror attack in Pulwama left the family devastated, especially his young wife Rubi Devi. While their husbands are covered in tricolour and honoured, widows like Rubi wrapped in white are forgotten.
Aasha and her one-year-old son were eagerly awaiting Sepoy Goverdhan Singh Sisodia’s return from the frontline. But instead, they were greeted by her 27-year-old martyrs’ lifeless body in a casket. Constable Shyam Babu and Sepoy Goverdhan are among the 1,600 brave Indian soldiers and paramilitary forces who sacrifice their life in the line of duty every year protecting the country.
The women who sacrifice everything
Our soldiers leave behind widows and often very young children who continue living the final sacrifice made by them for the country. Their unimaginable loss is emotional, psychological and financial and without support the young women often find it hard to sustain their families. As per government statistics, there are 6.8 lakh widows of the Indian Armed Forces, 97% of whom are widows of jawans and sepoys who mainly come from rural India.
“The soldiers who attain martyrdom have only one hope in their hearts that after they are gone, the citizens will protect and care for their families in the same manner,” says Prashant Tewari, President of VeerNari Shakti Resettlement Foundation, which strives to provide emotional support through counselling and a dignified source of livelihood for martyr widows.
VeerNaari Shakti Resettlement Foundation in Delhi is the only NGO in India working officially with all three Indian Armed Forces and 8 paramilitary forces supporting families of slain heroes. For instance, they provided Aasha with free psychological counseling after her grief led her to attempt suicide.
The psychological trauma from the death of her loving husband pushed Aasha to take the extreme step. She couldn’t cope with the loss and required immediate medical and psychiatric intervention. Without her husband, she was also left dependent on others to sustain herself and the child financially. VNS eventually persuaded her to join their new sustainable kitchen-model initiative, which will provide widows with salaried jobs and a sustainable livelihood.
Support VeerNaari Shakti Resettlement Foundation
What death brings to them is unspeakable grief and trauma. While a few women put on a brave face, pull together and move on, there are hundreds who lose themselves to the grief of the tragedy.
In memory of our brave hearts, let’s uphold the rights of their widows to financial independence and support VeerNaari Shakti’s noble initiative. VeerNari Shakti functions in 15 states and needs ₹50 lakh to build its first kitchen and cover the operational costs, including wages to the widows, for one year. Once the sales increase this highly replicable model will become self-sufficient, and each kitchen will give financial independence to 55 families.
Putting the nation before everything else, each year, our brave soldiers lay down their lives in the line of duty. We can never repay even a fraction of their supreme sacrifice or fully comprehend the sorrow and vacuum their families live with.
But we surely can express deep gratitude and ensure their families’ sustenance. With your kind contributions, these Veer Naris, or courageous women, will create a new path for themselves and ensure a future for their children. Please donate generously to care and protect the martyr families.
Established in 2000, GiveIndia is India’s most trusted giving platform for donors. Our community of 1.5M+ donors and 150+ corporate partners have supported 2,000 nonprofits, impacting 10M+ lives across India.
Samar is a Marketing Communications specialist and freelance writer. She has a master’s in marketing and creativity from ESCP Business School. She is an avid traveler and likes to write about technology, travel, wildlife and sustainability.