As disturbing news of dowry atrocities in Kerala kept surfacing, some even leading to deaths, politicians, NGOs, women welfare groups and common public came together to express their horror and disgust. On July 14, an anti-dowry fast will take place in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, to create awareness about the social evil. The dawn-to-dusk fast will be organised at Gandhi Bhavan in Thiruvananthapuram by the Gandhi Smaraka Nidhi and othersuch outfits, to create social awareness against the practice of giving and taking dowry as part of marriages. Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan will be taking part in the protest.
The Governor, in a response to the call made by the Gandhian organizations, decided to join the fast and would attend the programme from 4.30 pm till the end, Raj Bhavan sources said.
The programme would also aim at ending atrocities against women and to address the need to make Kerala a safer place for them. Last month, Khan had made an emotional appeal to women to say no to dowry when it was demanded during the time of marriages and expressed willingness to be part of any “organised” voluntary movement to create awareness against the menace.
Deeply saddened after several women in the state committed suicide due to dowry abuse, the Kerala Governor had last month promised to work as a volunteer against the evil of dowry abuse. He had also promised to join a group of people who will sit on a fast to highlight the issue. Khan had visited the family of a young final year Ayurveda medical student, who took her life after her husband allegedly demanded an expensive car last month. After paying tributes, Khan had told the media that NGOs and volunteers should step up the awareness drive in a campaign against dowry and promised that he is ready to work as a volunteer. Khan then said `dowry is an evil and as far as laws are concerned, they are very strong and the need is to create a general and social awareness against it`.
The Governor, who has become hugely popular with the people, said in Kerala there is no dearth of NGO`s or volunteers. “I am ready to work as a volunteer and we should create awareness against this. It should be made very clear to anyone who asks for dowry, that they are not interested in proceeding with the marriage proposal,” added Khan.
In the previous month, many dowry harassment cases surfaced, forcing Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to take new steps, and a a female IPS officer was made in-charge to deal with all such cases. Vijayan also announced that henceforth an online complaint registration portal named `Aparajitha` will resolve cyber crimes against women and complaints on offences against women including domestic abuse also can be submitted there.
(With Agency inputs)