And the list doesn't end here...Go to http://www.google.com and simply search for "Dowry Deaths in India" and you'll get an endless list of such gruesome cases-even more than the total number of grooms you'll find at all the matrimonial sites!
And for me, it’s not just the newspaper articles which make me feel sad about the mindset of the people. When I was in Class 3,there was one classmate of mine, a newly enrolled girl, who used to come to school with red swollen eyes daily. This continued for days together! One day, unable to see her pain, I went to her and asked "Any problem? Do you need any kind of help? ".It was quite clear from her state that she had nobody to share her grief with. So she let out all her sorrows and woes in front of me describing what all she was going through those days. She revealed to me that her mom and the rest of her grandpa's family was accused of burning her aunt alive due to some dowry related issues and they were all locked up in the Sabarmati Jail,Ahmedabad.As a third grade kid, all that I could understand at that moment were the words "Burn" and "Jail ".That day, I returned home and questioned my mom to what this "dowry" meant. She just briefed me saying it was gifts that girls take to the boy’s family when she gets married. Gifts to me, then, were just the Dairy-milks and the Five-stars. I counter attacked my mom saying "I won’t take anything when I get married. The boy whom I shall marry will give me gifts instead!”.And now, 13 years later, my arguments have grown even stronger (and a bit logical too!).But the sad thing is that, that during those difficult days, I failed to understand that girl's agony. I couldn't be of any help to her. I wonder how brave she would have been then to learn of what her mom had done and about this cheap mentality of the Indian society.
More than a decade,and a transformation to a mature young girl from an innocent kid ,only to notice the same events happening around me even today. Reminding me of that classmate, her agony, her mom and her traumatized childhood. It’s not just Shobhana, Sanju or Anuradha about whom you read (and quite often ignore if they don't happen to be even your distant relative!) about daily in the newspapers. It could be you, your daughter or your own sister facing this tomorrow. I question today, as to why is it that a girl’s family starts assembling gold and ornaments from the day she is born. Why is it that a daughter's mom not enjoy her money wearing gold accessories but rather prefers saving the money as FD's in the banks? Why is it that a daughter's daddy considers driving his scooter his luck and gifting his son-in-law a Ford his dream? Why it that the marriage cost starts bothering him long before even the wedding date is fixed?
The kind of toys may differ...
But doesn't a daughter’s dad spend more or less the same as a son's dad on the toyshop bills?
The food habits may differ...
But doesn't a daughter’s dad spend more or less the same as a son's dad on the grocery bills?
The school may be different...
But doesn't a daughter's dad spend more or less the same as a son's dad on the school fee?
The book's authors may differ...
But doesn't a daughter’s dad spend more or less the same as a son's dad on the tuition fee?
The college may be different...
But doesn't a daughter’s dad spend more or less the same as a son's dad on the college fee?
So, why when it comes to marriage, the society gets greedy? Why is it that the entire responsibility of the marriage fall upon a girl's family? Why do you expect her to bring with her, riches, instead of welcoming wisdom and knowledge?
When her father spends an equal amount on her as your father throughout his life, why should he send his daughter loaded with gold and wealth to your family?
|"Where's my dowry?"|
"Right here Mister!!!"
When I and my sissy were kids, of the age when this dowry thing had started getting into our heads, we had made an agreement that, in future, whenever we are on our way towards finding a groom, one thing would be well in advance decided.First,No Dowry or No Marriage and second, we had decided that the marriage proposal would advance to its next stage only if the to-be-groom agrees to stay with his in-laws for half-a-year and for the next six months we would go to stay with our in-laws. And I still believe that this could be done!?Not a bad idea daughters, is it? When a guy's parents can boast of having a son to look after them in the later stage of their life, why shouldn't our dads?
It’s the time, girl’s fathers, that you feel proud of being a daughter's dad!
For all the women out there,who consider themselves to be subordinate to men and believe that dowry leads to a happier life:
For more details about the campaign and to make your promise to act to end the violence against women,visit http://www.bellbajao.org/ .
Also visit the facebook page of Youth Against Dowry (YAD),an initiative by a team of Youngsters from Mangalore and Udupi, to protest and agitate against dowry.