Dowry is common evil in every society, whether a Hindu, Buddhist or Muslim. Wealth was never shared equally, so are the opportunities attached to catch it more. There are thousands of families that have marriage-ready daughters lying inside, they are limp in the providence of dowry along with the daughters. Early marriage delays the tendency of psychological illness, depression and anxiety. Notedly, the rising cases of suicide, depression and drug abuse are shoots of the same social evil that had trodden the dreams of many adults.
The Baba Wayil village of District Ganderbal situated around 35 kilometres from Srinagar with a population of 1000 people consisting of around 175-200 households, has set an example for the society after announcing dowry as a social evil and banning the same in the entire village. The villagers have taken the decision four decades ago and are following the same in letter and spirit till date, for the past 40 years, only simple weddings have been taking place in the village.
Though the village heads took the decision four decades ago in 2004 around 100 families have signed the official document to neither receive nor give dowry. The same document was amended in 2018 which mentions that the groom’s family cannot demand anything from the bride’s side.
As per the document, the groom’s family has to give Rs 50,000 to the bride’s family including Rs 20,000 Mehar and 20,000 for wedding clothes and 10,000 for other expenses. However, gold is boycotted from both ends.
The people must believe that this evil is the primary reason for young boys and girls not getting married at their proper age as the families cannot afford dowry with the result it spreads many other social evils in the society. And it’s due to the same initiative that the young boys and girls of this village get married below 25 years of age.
In one case, a few months ago two brothers of the village were married simply and the total cost of the marriage was below Rs 10,000.ase the norms are violated by any family of the village the entire village will go for a social boycott against the erring family.
In case one fails to follow the agreement, that family is not be allowed to pray at the local Masjid and neither will they be allowed to bury their family member in the graveyard as per the document. And surprisingly, in the past 17-18 years, not a single violation of laws has been reported in this village.
The village has set an example that should be followed by the rest to eradicate this social evil that is degrading its social fabric and giving birth to other evils.