By Anu Anand

BBC correspondent in Vrindavan, north India



Five years ago, Indian director Deepa Mehta tried to make a film about the exploitation

of widows. But she and her film crew were forced to quit after violent protests by Hindu leaders.

Now, the spotlight is back on the ill-treatment of India's widows. A new film, by an Indian-American

director, tells harrowing tales of sexual and physical abuse.


... read more



By Hala Ali Aryan


September 18, 2003


"BONSALL – Type "Vrindavan" into an Internet search engine and you get tourist-oriented

Web sites full of photos and descriptions of an exotic holy land, where thousands of pilgrims

flock each year to worship Hinduism's Lord Krishna. "There are falls which are always

pouring water, and the sound is so sweet that it covers the sound of the crickets," says one site.... 

But type in "Vrindavan widows," and you get a different picture – one of castaway women

kicked out by their families and forced into lives of squalor, abuse and hopelessness...."


... read more



By Nathalie Taylor



“And then they said:

She must wear white

Cut her hair

Remove the bangles . . .

Adopt white! White,

  the colour white!”


“So reads a snippet of a poem by Pavan Varma, a poem which attempts to share with the world

the agony of widowhood in India.  It is a world out of balance, and Linda Mandrayar and Hannah Kirby

are taking on the challenge of restoring equilibrium..."


... read more




By Moviebuzz

August 5, 2004


Vrindavan is often referred to as the ‘City of Widows’. The epithet may sound disconcerting, but the

veracity cannot be ignored. The widows in Vrindavan, young and old are sexually exploited and

physically abused in every way possible. Shorn of the last vestige of dignity and ostracised as an

‘inauspicious’ presence in the family, many of them are brought to Vrindavan and abandoned.


... read more


We did some research about it and came up with the sad plight of the widows. They are dumped

in the choultries which runs on charity from organisations and individuals.

These widows are used by those running these homes to collect money from the rich.

All these women have to do is chant hymns from morning till night for which they are

paid a measly amount. Most of the women have sad stories to tell.

My film is about four such widows who start challenging the myths and tradition that surround the widows.

In the process they undergo a transformation. From a world of no colours, they see the rainbow

at the end of the tunnel,” said Dharan Mandrayar.


... read more





American-Indians Linda and Dharan Mandrayar, and Hannah Kirby of San

Diego, California, hope the world will see, care about and act on the film titled 'White

Rainbow'. The 'pandas' (holy order) of Vrindavan are having none of it. They are

dead set against outsiders coming down to shoot in their midst.


... read more


By S.M.Yasir


It is a fact that when the seven colours of light combine, white light is formed. But in India, white has 

a different connotation, when a woman is forced to wear it. Then it no longer signifies the collage of colours 

that may epitomise her spirit but voids that purport to her worthlessness.


... read more








Shobha Warrier  

August 02, 2004


I went to Brindavan and wandered around the streets. I went to the various ashrams there.

To put it mildly, Brindavan is not a clean city. To see those women sitting on the streets or lying in

some corners was shocking and disturbing. To a passing eye, they may look like beggars. But to

me, having read all about them, I could see anguish in their eyes.


... read more





Jan. 26th, 2004