Lucknow: The Dowry system refers to the durable goods, cash, and real or movable property that the bride’s family gives to the bridegroom, his parents, or his relatives as a condition of the marriage.
Despite the existence of rigorous laws to prevent dowry-deaths under a 1986 amendment to the Indian Penal Code (IPC), convictions are rare, and judges (usually men) are often uninterested and susceptible to bribery.
A girl’s wedding in Latifpur village would often leave her parents in tears. Along with the ‘bidai’ of their beloved daughter, came the burden of mortgaged or sold assets including land and jewellery.
Mortgaged lands and other belongings were byproducts of the desire to organise a ‘grand’ wedding but a recent revelation in the Latifpur village of the city has changed the face of the event.
But, social change has now changed the fate of people across 400-odd families of the village. The gram sabha has decided to organise dowry-free community weddings to break the vicious circle of money lending for the event. It has also formed a corpus of Rs 2 lakh to help people in emergency.
“The mandate of dowry-free community weddings has been formally included in the village gram sabha corporate plan,” said Raj Shekhar, Lucknow district magistrate who reviewed Latifpur’s development plan recently.
The expenditure that comes along with all of the upset of a daughter’s ‘bidai’ has always already been too much to bear for a father. In such a scenario, the inclusion of dowry free community weddings in the gram sabha corporate plan reflects very strongly the nation’s desire to put an end to the obligations and catalyze social empowerment.
Latifpur is on the list of villages which are part of the Samajwadi Party government’s I-SPARSH project wherein model liveable conditions are to be achieved through social, economical and other interventions.
“Through I-SPARSH, we aim to build a common village infrastructure so that weddings may be held at minimal costs,” Shalini said.