Saturday, May 06, 2006

'Buying' of brides rampant in Haryana

'Buying' of brides rampant in Haryana

Pavitra JayaramanSunday, March 5, 2006 (New Delhi):
Villagers in Haryana are trying to tackle the problem of the skewed sex ratio by buying brides from poorer states like Jharkand and Uttaranchal.With an unfavourable sex ratio of 270 boys per 132 girls, 15 girls have been brought into the villages of Haryana from other states in just the last year."There are very few girls in the village. Otherwise why would we go so far away to get brides?" a local resident said.Minor girls are trafficked and brought into the state for as little as Rs 7000."My daughter-in-law was from Jharkhand. Her father said we could do whatever we want and that if we want to kill her we should go ahead," said Om Prakash, the father-in-law of a young girl who was recently hacked to death by her husband in a fit of rage. Social evilLocal NGOs point out that the current situation clearly indicates the prevalence of female foeticide and infanticide in area."This has not happened in a few days, it is obviously a result of many years of female infanticide and foeticide," said Rishikant, a member of the NGO Shakti Vahini. Over the last few years, Jharkhand has become one of the main supplier of young brides to Haryana. Last week an NGO rescued three girls from Jharkhand while on their way to Haryana to meet the men they were sold to. However, the girls said they did not want to go back home."If I go back home I might just be sold all over again. I would rather work and support myself," said Muniya, one of the victims of trafficking.Official stand Local officials plead helplessness in the matter, saying they can take no action as no formal complaints are registered with them. "Somebody has to file a complaint. We cannot be at the spot all the time. The police have other things to do," said Mahendra Singh, District Commissioner.However, NGOs say the truth is that nobody wants to get involved and take on villages which don't take kindly to of interference. Meanwhile, there is no respite for the young girls, who just end up being traded like cattle.


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