I'm not sure why they are paying attention today to a situation that has been part of Indian culture for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. It is beyond sad that the practice persists today, but it does.
There is a wonderful, wonderful film about the widows of Varanasi called "Water", by the controversial female Indian filmmaker and director, DeepaMehta. The film is set in the time when Ghandi was rising to power. It is stunning visually, and heart wrenching in it's raw depiction of the poverty and loneliness that these women are subject to.
The film was so controversial in India among conservative Hindus, that the sets were burned and filming was delayed for months. When filming resumed, security was very tight, and Mehta received death threats on a regular basis.
The film was nominated for an Oscar and received wide acclaim internationally.
Two thumbs way up. It's a beautiful, haunting portrayal of a human rights atrocity.