Sixty-five-year old Indian widow Urmila Tiwari poses at the Meerasahabhagini Ashram in Vrindavan, some 135 kilometres south of New Delhi, ahead of International Women’s Day. Ms Tiwari has lived at the ashram for over a year and says, “I love to live here, among good people”. Banished by families who see them as a financial drain, or believe they bring bad fortune, desperately poor widows have for centuries travelled to the northern city of Vrindavan, where the Hindu god Krishna is said to have grown up, to pray and wait to die. The Meerasahabhagini Ashram run by the Sulabh International NGO offers a place where some of Vrindavans estimated 15,000 widows can live together, providing support and friendship that bind them into a community. International Women’s Day falls on Saturday
Ng Han Guan/AP
Security personnel await the arrival of delegates at the Great Hall of the People to attend sessions of National People’s Congress and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in Beijing, China
A supporter of Narendra Modi, Gujarat’s chief minister and the prime ministerial candidate for India‘s main opposition Bharatiya Janata party, at a rally addressed by Mr Modi in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad ahead of the 2014 general elections
A woman and two children are surrounded by police and municipal security forces during clashes with residents of Borei Keila community in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. A building which has been occupied for the last two days has been raided by the Cambodian Security forces who sought to forcibly evict the residents. Early in the morning on Friday, the road leading into Borei Keila was blocked by riot police, military police, and municipal security guards, who had been deployed to remove all of the families which had occupied the building. Over the course of the violent eviction, at least six people were injured, including a woman who was 6 months pregnant.
Kashmiri Muslim devotees pray as the head priest displays a relic of Sufi saint Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani outside his shrine in Srinagar, India. Thousands thronged to the shrine during the Urs festival
Visitors enjoy sledding and skating on the partially frozen Houhai Lake during the lunar new year holiday in Beijing. Beijing is seeing its warmest new year period in six decades with temperatures averaging 8 degrees centigrade above normal, with snowfall yet to hit the city.
A worshipper wearing a Chinese opera outfit waits to burn incense and pray at the Wong Tai Sin Temple to welcome the lunar new year of the horse in Hong Kong. Tens of thousands of worshippers flocked to temples across Hong Kong to pray for good luck and fortune for the new year.
A student dressed as a bear waits backstage while participating in a cultural event at a school in Mumbai, India.
Children play on the outskirts of Lahore, Pakistan
Employees take pictures though a window as anti-government protesters march through Bangkok’s business district on Thursday. The government declared a 60-day state of emergency, hoping to prevent an escalation in protests that have entered their third month.
Indian Army soldiers march during the full dress rehearsal for the Republic Day parade in New Delhi. India will celebrate its Republic Day on Sunday
A bronze statue of the Star Wars character Yoda is unveiled on Thursday at the opening ceremony of the Sandcrawler building in Singapore. Yoda, is the grand master of the Jedi Order in George Lucas’s films. George Lucas, director of the Star Wars movies, is to base the regional headquarters for his company Lucasfilm at the Sandcrawler building, which resembles the huge mobile fortresses featured in films
Workers clean a building in Hong Kong.
An anti-government protester stands on Victory Monument as thousands of demonstrators gather for a rally in Bangkok, Thailand. Protesters took over key intersections in the capital on Monday, halting much of the traffic into Bangkok’s central business district as part of a campaign to thwart elections and overthrow the prime minister.
A man climbs the Boudhanath Stupa, a world heritage site in Katmandu, Nepal, as he works to renovate it. The Boudhanath is an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists.
Nisha Maji, 5, who lives and works with her family at a brick factory in Kathmandu, Nepal, helps family members carry bricks. A group of Nepalese youth associated with the non-profit organisation Gothalo Nepal is providing basic education to the factory children once a week.
A schoolboy walks past a street mural depicting a school bus and students in Shah Alam, outside Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia begins the first day of the new school year of 2014.
Villagers walk home carrying water collected from the Kuakhai River on a foggy morning in Bhubaneswar, India