Dowry System is a lesser-talked yet highly-prevalent issue in India. In poorer states like Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, etc., the evil practice is quite dominant. The saddest part is that even after five decades since Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 was passed in the parliament, it is quite common for the groom’s parents to ask for dowry either in cash or/and kind. Many a time, brides are tortured by the groom’s family for not meeting the dowry demand, leading to the forced suicide of brides.
In last few decades, the central and several states governments have taken multiple steps to curb the immoral act of dowry. Probably the most impressive work in this field has been done by the government of Bihar. In 2017, on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had launched a state-wide campaign to eradicate the practice of dowry and child marriage.
Collaborating with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the campaign is about spreading awareness among the people and making girls brave enough to fight the immoral tradition. Since most of the cases of dowry have come from Bihar, the state government has been very adamant on doing away with such practices in the state.
On 21st January 2018, Bihar witnessed its biggest fight against dowry system and child marriage when lakhs of people, mostly school students, formed a 14,000 km-long human-chain to build a constructive atmosphere free of such social banes. It was a reflection of how the state of Bihar is coming out of its reputation as an ignorant state and is setting an example for others.
Over the last few years, a number of organizations such as Aangan, antidowry.com, Suraksha, etc. have come forward in order to deal with the ill issue of dowry in the country.
The need of the hour is the young population of India understands its responsibility by listening to what the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi said on dowry.
“Any young man, who makes dowry a condition to marriage, discredits his education and country and dishonors womanhood.”