When Akshay Kumar Singh was sentenced to death in the brutal New Delhi gang rape case, it sent a strong message from a country that still struggles mightily with violence toward women. But for Singh’s wife, Punita Devi, the verdict brought a sentence of her own: destitution, ostracism, and an uncertain future. As a woman without a husband, she is left without means of support in a traditional countryside where women cannot work outside the home. "I am not educated. Our traditions are such that I cannot even step out of the house," Devi told The Wall Street Journal. "Who will earn money to feed me and my son?"
In rural India, few options for husbandless women.