A Kerala village says no to dowry

January 21st, 2009 - 6:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Nilambur (Kerala), Jan 21 (IANS) A village here has pledged to neither ask for nor give any dowry to step up anti-dowry movement in India.Malappuram district’s Nilambur village kicked off the campaign of being a “dowry free village” Monday after about 1,500 young men and women said no to dowry.

The campaign was inaugurated by Congress leader Sachin Pilot, said Aryadan Shoukat, Nilambur Village Council president.

“The whole idea came while we were conducting a survey to find out the number of people who had no house of their own. We were startled to find out that 25 percent of those belonging to the lower strata had no house of their own as they sold it to get their daughters married,” he said.

Shoukat said on an average about 15 marriages take place every week in the village.

“On an average the dowry costs Rs.300,000 and this is a lot of money, especially for the weaker sections. During the inauguration we have formed different committees which include pre-marital counselling, entrepreneurship training for the young to do a small business of their own,” Shoukat said.

“The biggest surprise came when even religious leaders, the youth organisations, women’s groups all came forward to support this initiative,” added Shoukat.

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