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India: First help centre for widows opens in Kerala

Web report/Thiruvananthapuram
Filed on July 17, 2021
AFP photo used for illustrative purpose

The Centre will provide self-employment training, legal services, counselling, and rehab facilities for widows.

A help centre for widows, the first of its kind in the state, has been opened in the Kannur district by local officials. The centre will ensure the welfare of widows and will be affiliated with the department of women and child development, according to reports.

The centre will register all widows in the district and provide helpline services as well. It also aims to provide self-employment training, free legal services, counselling, help with the police and rehabilitation for the widows.

Reports have in the past mentioned that Kerala has a slightly higher proportion of widows compared to the Indian average. This is mainly because of the state’s demographic profile, with higher female life expectancy.

A report had earlier pointed out that the state has one of the worst records in India for economic dependency among the elderly. One report had said that 76 per cent of the elderly women had no financial assets in their name.

India has witnessed a sharp increase in the number of widows and states such as Kerala and Tamil Nadu top the list. According to census data from 2011, India had a population of 1.21 billion, of which 56 million (4.6 per cent) were widowed. In Kerala, widows accounted for 6.7 per cent of the population, while in Tamil Nadu it was 6.4 per cent.

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