Breaking taboo, widows wear redPutting on the red tika and bangles 40 years after losing her husband, the joy on the face of Asta Maya Maharjan was heart warming.
Putting on the red tika and bangles 40 years after losing her husband, the joy on the face of Asta Maya Maharjan was heart warming.
Maharjan, 72, had been denied a red tika and glass bangles by her family members for the first few years after the death of her husband and she could not muster the courage to express her desire thereafter.
“After waiting for so long, I feel young and alive again,” said Maharjan, with the bangles jingling on her wrists. She eventually mustered the courage to break the taboo after four decades because so many single women—much younger than her—had also joined in the movement.
On Saturday, a single women group in Lalitpur organised a programme where 325 single women from Chhampi, Chapagaun, Sunakothi and Lele were felicitated with the red colour.
The red colour campaign was launched in the country in 2002, many single women like Maharjan have not been able to break the social taboo yet.
According to campaign organiser Sabita Maharjan, it was only after years of continued persuasion from her that these women gathered the courage to express their desire to wear the forbidden red colour.
“I could not express my desire to wear red for fear of being outcast by the society. This is why we decided to do it together in a huge number which made it easier for us to defend our movement,” said Sabita, herself a single woman.
Donning the red bangles, tika and shawl, the women took out a rally around Sunakothi carrying ply cards saying equal social rights for single women.