By: Rina Chandran
Date: 27 June 2016
Source: Thomson Reuters Foundations
In drought-hit Marathwada, the poorest region in India's western Maharashtra state, there is an unusually high number of single women. Some were widowed after their farmer husbands committed suicide because of debt; others were abandoned because they didn't produce a son, while some were left behind when their husbands left to search for work.
Alone and without financial support, the women and their children are usually thrown out of home by their in-laws, denied ownership of the land they worked on and any compensation from the government.
They are also taunted and harassed by communities who believe a woman is nothing without a man.
"In this country, single women are the most vulnerable category - they are neglected by the government, by society, even their own family," said Vishwanth Todkar, secretary at Paryay, a charity that works with marginalised communities.
"Every day, every hour is a struggle for them - to get a home, get land, even their identity cards, which are in the name of the father or the husband. They face humiliations constantly."