Thursday, July 23, 2009

Reading Homeless Bird Started This Journey...

In 2003 my son Shan, who was in sixth grade at the time, brought home his reading assignment- the book "Homeless Bird" by Gloria Whelan. I was curious about the book because I noticed that it took place in India. I started to read it with him and my other children in the evenings. The story captivated me and I couldn't put it down. It told the story of a 13 year old girl who was forced to marry and then suddenly widowed and dumped by her in-laws in the holy city of Vrindavan...aka "The City of Widows". I was shocked. How could people be so callous. Just because the young girl was a widow she was considered to have no value. The story took place in modern day India, not in the past... when you may expect these kinds of injustices to occur. I wanted to find out if this could really be true, if this kind of thing really happened. I asked Dharan, my husband, who was born and raised in India. He said that he knew that there were many stigmas attached to widowhood, but he did not know about the brutal treatment described in the story. We decided to do a quick check on the Internet. We typed in VRINDAVAN. Up came glorious stories about the thousands of temples. We narrowed our search to WIDOWS OF VRINDAVAN. Then we saw hundreds of articles about the the thousands of widows that are abandoned on the streets of Vrindavan every year. Reading through the articles and news reports made us determined that something should be done. These women were suffering silently. We were certain that if people knew about their plight, then positive change would take place and these cruel practices really would be a thing of the past!

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Hole in Our Gospel a Powerful Book

Recently I went to hear a motivational speaker at my church. By a chance meeting in the restroom, I had the opportunity to tell her about my film "White Rainbow". She gave me a copy of the book she was promoting called "A Hole in the Gospel" by Richard Stearns, the president of the Christian humanitarian organization- World Vision. I finally found the time to read it on my trip here in India. Boy is it powerful! It is a call to action for all believers to take the words of Christ seriously. If we really love God we need to help the poor. "The highest and and best ways of expressing our love for God is by demonstrating His love tangibly to those around us. We achieve this by showing compassion to the most vulnerable of God's children and fighting for justice. "...."Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this : to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world" (James 1:27) He explains further " The message puts it this way:"Anyone who sets himself up as 'religious' by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless int their plight, and guard against corruption for the godless world" God wants to see the authenticity of our faith put into action, not the emptiness of a faith without deeds." pg 185 "The Hole in Our Gospel"
Reading this book has encouraged me to continue in my fight to get the message out about the unfair and unjust treatment that many widows in India face.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

This blog is dedicated to improving the lives of widows and orphans in India. I made a feature film titled "White Rainbow" that exposes the stigma that many Indian women face when they become widowed. I would like to use the film as a tool to help educate, motivate and inspire others to stand up and make a difference. I would like to work with others who share my passion by starting service trips to work with the widows of Vrindavan-which is known as the "City of Widows". I would also like to help raise funds for other groups and organizations that are already working to make a difference for widows and orphans. Please join with me by forwarding this blog to as many people as possible!