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Pictures | Fri Mar 8, 2013 | 3:35pm GMT

Widow refuge

<p>A widow poses for a picture inside her room at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. Hundreds of widows who have been abandoned by their families live in the shelter, or ashram, run by the NGO Sulabh International. In India, when a man dies, traditionally his widow is expected to renounce all earthly pleasures, such as wearing colourful clothes or looking attractive, and she can face severe social discrimination. Sulabh International works to provide abandoned widows with education, healthcare and vocational skills. Issues surrounding the treatment of women are receiving special attention on March 8, which marks International Women's Day.   REUTERS/Adnan Abidi</p>

A widow poses for a picture inside her room at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. Hundreds of widows who have been abandoned by their families live in the...more

A widow poses for a picture inside her room at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. Hundreds of widows who have been abandoned by their families live in the shelter, or ashram, run by the NGO Sulabh International. In India, when a man dies, traditionally his widow is expected to renounce all earthly pleasures, such as wearing colourful clothes or looking attractive, and she can face severe social discrimination. Sulabh International works to provide abandoned widows with education, healthcare and vocational skills. Issues surrounding the treatment of women are receiving special attention on March 8, which marks International Women's Day. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

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<p>A widow poses for a picture inside her room at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013.   REUTERS/Adnan Abidi</p>

A widow poses for a picture inside her room at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

A widow poses for a picture inside her room at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

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<p>A widow prepares food outside her room at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013.    REUTERS/Adnan Abidi</p>

A widow prepares food outside her room at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

A widow prepares food outside her room at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

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<p>Widows eat inside their room at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013.    REUTERS/Adnan Abidi</p>

Widows eat inside their room at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Widows eat inside their room at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

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<p>A widow sits inside her room at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013.    REUTERS/Adnan Abidi</p>

A widow sits inside her room at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

A widow sits inside her room at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

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<p>A widow prepares her bed at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013.    REUTERS/Adnan Abidi</p>

A widow prepares her bed at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

A widow prepares her bed at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

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<p>A widow sits inside her room at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013.   REUTERS/Adnan Abidi</p>

A widow sits inside her room at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

A widow sits inside her room at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

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<p>A widow poses at the entrance of a staircase at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013.   REUTERS/Adnan Abidi</p>

A widow poses at the entrance of a staircase at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

A widow poses at the entrance of a staircase at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

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<p>A widow washes a plate at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013.  . REUTERS/Adnan Abidi</p>

A widow washes a plate at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. . REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

A widow washes a plate at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. . REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

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<p>A widow walks inside the compound of the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013.  REUTERS/Adnan Abidi</p>

A widow walks inside the compound of the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

A widow walks inside the compound of the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

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<p>A widow carries a bucket as she walks towards a hand pump to fetch drinking water at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013.   REUTERS/Adnan Abidi</p>

A widow carries a bucket as she walks towards a hand pump to fetch drinking water at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

A widow carries a bucket as she walks towards a hand pump to fetch drinking water at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

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<p>A widow writes on a slate as she attends a class at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013.   REUTERS/Adnan Abidi</p>

A widow writes on a slate as she attends a class at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

A widow writes on a slate as she attends a class at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

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<p>A widow displays Bengali alphabets on a slate that she learnt in a class at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013.    REUTERS/Adnan Abidi</p>

A widow displays Bengali alphabets on a slate that she learnt in a class at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

A widow displays Bengali alphabets on a slate that she learnt in a class at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

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<p>Widows gather to sing religious songs at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013.     REUTERS/Adnan Abidi</p>

Widows gather to sing religious songs at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Widows gather to sing religious songs at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

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<p>Widows with their sewing machines attend a training class at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013.   REUTERS/Adnan Abidi</p>

Widows with their sewing machines attend a training class at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Widows with their sewing machines attend a training class at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

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<p>A widow holds a slate as she arrives to attend a class at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013.   REUTERS/Adnan Abidi</p>

A widow holds a slate as she arrives to attend a class at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

A widow holds a slate as she arrives to attend a class at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

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<p>A widow makes religious beads during a training class at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013.  REUTERS/Adnan Abidi</p>

A widow makes religious beads during a training class at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

A widow makes religious beads during a training class at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

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<p>Widows attend a class to make incense sticks at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013.    REUTERS/Adnan Abidi</p>

Widows attend a class to make incense sticks at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Widows attend a class to make incense sticks at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

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<p>Widows attend a class at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013.    REUTERS/Adnan Abidi</p>

Widows attend a class at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Widows attend a class at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

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<p>Widows attend a class at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013.    REUTERS/Adnan Abidi</p>

Widows attend a class at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Widows attend a class at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

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<p>A widow reads an English alphabet book inside her room at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013.   REUTERS/Adnan Abidi</p>

A widow reads an English alphabet book inside her room at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

A widow reads an English alphabet book inside her room at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

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<p>A widow prepares food outside her room at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013.    REUTERS/Adnan Abidi</p>

A widow prepares food outside her room at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

A widow prepares food outside her room at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

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<p>A widow prays inside her room at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013.    REUTERS/Adnan Abidi</p>

A widow prays inside her room at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

A widow prays inside her room at the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

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<p>A widow walks through a street outside the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013.   REUTERS/Adnan Abidi</p>

A widow walks through a street outside the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

A widow walks through a street outside the Meera Sahavagini ashram in the pilgrimage town of Vrindavan in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

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