Marriages are supposed to be a happy union of two people. In India, where people are firm believers of religion and ancient practices the ceremony includes a number of rituals and customs. Although, over time, the essence of marriage ceremony has changed and somewhat been lost. It has been transformed into an event where the union is made public and thousands of people are invited to attend it. Dowry is one of the worst evils in the society today. But a small village in Uttar Pradesh has decided to take a stand against this practice and to ensure that the families do not run up debts while marrying off their daughters. This brave decision has been taken in Latifpur, where 400 of the 450 families are facing a financial crisis due to unnecessary wedding expenses.
Latifpur has decided to hold dowry-free community weddings and reduce debt burden on residents. The gram sabha of the small village near Lucknow has put together a corpus fund of Rs. 2 lakh which will be given to families to organize a basic ceremony. This corpus fund will also be used to provide interest free loans for other emergencies like birth and death, urgent healthcare needs of the local residents, and weddings. The villagers are hoping that this fund will also put an end to the practice of money lending at unnecessary high rates.
“Out of the 450 families, nearly 400 had either sold or mortgaged their land and other belongings to meet the expenses of a wedding. The problem was common to both bride and groom sides. The revelation was placed before the gram sabha and a consensus over dowry-free weddings was formed,” Shweta Singh, the village head told a newspaper. Raj Shekhar, the DM of Lucknow reviewed the plan for Latifpur and has included the mandate for dowry-free weddings in the gram sabha corporate plan.
Latifpur has truly been an inspiration for the entire country and Social Samajwadi hopes that everyone takes a cue from them!