WOODS CROSS — Local teens are hoping to make a positive difference in the lives of women on the other side of the world.
Woods Cross High’s Interact Club is sponsoring a 3k run on Saturday, May 3, and will send the proceeds to the organization Maitri India, specifically to help impoverished widows in Vrindavan, India.
“The widows there are kind of ostracised from society,” said Anna Peterson, president of the school’s Interact Club. “They have no way to make a living.”
The student club is a branch of Rotary International and offers youths 12 to 18 a chance to make international connections and carry out service projects.
The Saturday run begins at 9 a.m. at Woods Cross High and costs $10 per person or $20 per family. T-shirts are an additional $4 each.
The route circles the school grounds and runners will be given balloons to emphasize the theme: “Interact for India: Help Lift Others Up.”
Refreshments and prizes are also part of the event.
Club member Maddie Tolk learned from Maitri India executive director Winnie Singh, that women in India are often seen as cursed or “inauspicious” if their husbands die first. In some cases, the women are even blamed for their husband’s death.
Women are cast out of their homes, and are forced to wear coarse, white sarees and cut off or shave their hair to signify widowhood, according to Maddie.
Maitri works to provide nutrition, health care, education and access to citizenship rights to widowed mothers in India, wrote Maddie, who otherwise might be forced to beg or become slaves in domestic, agricultural or sex work.
More information on Maitri can be viewed at maitriindia.org.