In some regions of India, when a woman becomes a widow, she becomes a “bad omen,” shunned by friends and family. The city of Vrindavan, in Uttar Pradesh, is alone home to more than 20,000 abandoned and destitute widows who live in forced exile. There’s a bright side however.
Locally-run craft centres, such as Hope Springz (which featured in the award-winning documentary Beyond Karma), are empowering by teaching them how to make jewellery. In conjunction with acclaimed folk-pop group SHEL, the ladies are making rainbow-coloured bracelets, to tie in with the release of SHEL’s new single, ‘Rainbow’, and the accompanying video.
SHEL aim to help the women of Hope Springz by bringing awareness and telling the world about them. ‘Rainbow’ is the first track to be released from SHEL’s upcoming EP, ‘Wild Child’. Rainbow is released January 31.
The video features the women of Hope Springz, and the joy on their faces is palpable. Eva Holbrook, the “E” in SHEL, travelled to India to make the music video for ‘Rainbow’, with the focus on raising much-needed funds and awareness for these vulnerable women. SHEL, which comprises sisters Sarah, Hannah, Eva, and Liza Holbrook, want to ensure that their partnership with Hope Springz has a lasting impact.
‘Rainbow’ is the first single from SHEL’s upcoming EP, ‘Wild Child’, which has been produced with Joey Verskotzi and Tim Myers (formerly of OneRepublic). The single marks a new era for SHEL, who have toured the world sharing stages with the likes of Amos Lee, and whose music can be heard in tv ads, and programmes such as ‘Riverdale’, and ‘Shameless’. SHEL have taken some time out to focus on their own mental health needs, and to nurture their relationship as sisters, and their new EP is set for release in the spring.