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September 29, 2023
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A Life of Ashes
Produced by: Dheera Sujan
There are more than 40 million widows in India today – and for a large proportion of these women, their lives are what some have referred to as a living sati – a reference to the now outlawed practice of widow burning. A woman’s diet, dress, and even sexuality all suddenly become part of the public realm the moment her husband dies. Producer Dheera Sujan is an Indian herself and the daughter of a widow. In A Life of Ashes she weaves her own experiences with those of the women she met.

Program Credits

A Life of Ashes was produced by Dheera Sujan of Radio Netherlands. This program airs as part of the international documentary collaboration, Crossing Boundaries.


Widows Flock to city to die
An in-depth news article that centers on the city of Vrindavan,India, where Hindu widows flock in the believe that death frees them from the cycle of life and death.

A review of an the Indian movie, Water, that centres on the problems widows face after their husbands pass away.

Sati: A Historical Anthology
by: Andrea Major 2007
This colletion of literature tries to present a balanced understanding of the practice of Sati through the wide range of Indian and European sources collected over hundreds of years.

by: Bapsi Sidhwa, Deepa Mehta 2006
This brilliant book is the printed version of the movie with the same name

Perpetual Mourning: Widowhood in Rural India
by: Martha Alter Alter Chen 2001
This book provides a complete picture of the day-to-day realities of widows in rural India and of the social and economic challenges widows pose to the social order.

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Programs by Dheera Sujan

Radio for between the ears
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