The government of India has taken action to initiate a programme to rehabilitate war widows in the Eastern Province.
CPM Member of Parliament T K Rangarajan who was part of the 15-member Indian Parliamentary delegation who visited war-ravage areas in Sri Lanka and other places told reporters in Chennai on Sunday that they were saddened by the fact that 13,000 of those widows were under 23 years of age.
In a bid to make both ends meet and help them return to a normal life, Rangarajan said under an Indian government initiative, 800 of the younger widows were selected initially for a multiple skills development programme in Karnataka, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
Sharing his impressions of the visit, Rangarajan said the widows were imparted training in computer operations, food processing and embroidery among others.
Women Self-Help Groups under the name ‘Sewa’ was formed with India’s help to ensure livelihood support for the widows, Rangarajan said.
Back home after their training, a small group of women from Gujarat have taken the lead to “guide” the widows further, he added.
The Indian delegation also found that the demand for a separate Tamil Eelam was no longer in the air. Rangarajan said in their interactions with leaders of all the Tamil political parties, “nobody demanded any separate Tamil Eelam”, reported the Indian media.
Significantly, even the seniormost Tamil leader Sampanthan had stressed the Tamils only sought an enduring political solution within the framework of a United Sri Lanka, the Marxist MP disclosed.