After banning sale and consumption of liquor in Bihar, the state Chief Minister and Janata Dal (United) head Nitish Kumar has set his eyes on two social evils in the state — dowry system and child marriage. Kumar’s liquor ban law has been hailed by people across the state, mostly women belonging to all castes and classes. In the last one week, Kumar has said at least on two occasions that the state government would soon launch intensive campaigns against the dowry and child marriage practices.
In the last one week, Kumar has said at least on two occasions that the state government would soon launch intensive campaigns against the dowry and child marriage practices, which are prevalent across the state.
A report by International Center for Research on Women states in October 2015 had said that the state was on top of the list of the states where child marriage was prevalent. According to the report, the prevalence of child marriage in India was 47% but 60% in Bihar.
Similarly, in 2012, 2013 and 2014, Bihar was at the second position after Uttar Pradesh in terms of dowry deaths, according to NCRB data. “Bihar is placed second in dowry death cases consecutively in the last three years with number of 1275 dowry deaths reported in 2012 & 1182 in 2013, 1373 in 2014(Provisional),” a release by Ministry of Women and Child Development had said on December 3, 2015.
Speaking on the occasion of Ambedkar Jayanti on April 14, Kumar had strongly criticized the practice of taking dowry by the grooms’ families. The Bihar CM had also urged people to boycott marriage ceremonies organized after taking dowry. “Do not participate in a marriage ceremony where you have come to know that dowry has been taken,” PTI quoted Kumar as saying during a function on the 126th birth anniversary of Father of Indian Constitution, Dr BR Ambedkar, in Patna. “We have to remove dowry system from our way,” the Bihar CM added.
Kumar also appealed to people to maintain a distance from the practice of child marriage, saying problems like malnutrition and health issues are associated with the social evil. Speaking at another function in Patna on Monday, Kumar announced that soon the state government would launch an intensive campaign against child marriage and dowry system, according to a report by Hindi daily Prabhat Khabar.
Both child marriage and dowry system are two of the biggest evil that have a vice-like grip on Bihar.
(With agency inputs)