Widows Welfare Project

One of the weakest and poorest segments of Pakistani society is widows, especially those who belong to minority sects. For these women the ENL Foundation runs the Widows Welfare Project. Through this program we have managed to provide food and medical care for 400 widows who live-in low-income areas. Along with material assistance our organization also provides these women with lessons about small business, hygiene and home economics. While running this project, our members have seen firsthand the difficulties that these women are facing. One of the biggest issues is health since many widows seem to be in a poor physical state (caused by a combination of poverty, bad diet, loss of husband and abusive behavior of in-laws) and 6% have eye diseases like inflammation, cataract, and glaucoma. Another problem is residence since few of these women own their own homes and most live in overcrowded tenements. These living areas (rented or owned) are often highly unhygienic, have roofless washrooms (moreover in tenements washrooms are shared by many families) and are infested with various types of pests. Most of these homes also lack kitchens and many widows cook in their front yards with wood.  

The Widows Welfare Project is committed to making life better for Pakistan’s widows. To do this our team has done numerous home visits and seen widows in different troubling circumstances. To give you a perspective of what these women are facing we have listed two cases below:

Home visit to Zarina Bibi

Zarina Bibi is a poor widow who lives with her son. When our team visited her small home we found out that her residence lacked gas (she uses wood for cooking) and was infested with flies. Due to her poverty Zarina Bibi is unable to afford medical assistance although she has burnt skin, a withered hand, a cataract (she can only see out of one eye), difficulty in breathing and hearing problems.

Visit to Nasreen Nadeem

When our team visited Nasreen Bibi we found out that she and her family (consisting of two daughters and a son) were living in a tiny one room home. Although the house was unbelievably small (and had no gas or proper sewerage system) the rent for it was Rs 4000 monthly. Nasreen struggles to provide food and other necessities for her family. Her home also lacks basic appliances and her children do not have proper clothing.