Rajbiraj, 3 Februry: A recent study paints a grim picture of Rajbiraj, as the Municipality records maximum number of cases of dowry and gender discrimination. According to the study, of the total number of marriage ceremonies observed within the Municipality, over 40 per cent account for forceful dowry transactions.
As is often the case, newly-married wives have to face the maximum brunt of her family’s failure to provide adequate dowries. Failure to meet the dowry demands usually results in ghastly circumstances for them. Apart from physical and mental tortures, some brides are beaten mercilessly while a few are murdered at the hands of the groom’s family.
Despite being a social evil, dowry is an open secret and still remains highly prevalent in Nepali society. However, the dangers of dowry system only resurfaces in public consciousness after it results in extreme cases such as death and physical abuse.
In collaboration with VSO Nepal, the Comprehensive Mass Upliftment Centre Lahan, presented these findings and more during the community-police dialogue programme.
Much like dowry practice, the Municipality records 40 per cent cases in gender-based discrimination and violence. Women continue to be relegated to household chores while being deprived of invoking their property rights. Likewise, households tend to be reluctant when it comes to educating girls. While most boys of same family attend expensive private schools, the girls are sent to public schools, informed Rambharos Mahato of the Comprehensive Mass Upliftment Centre.
Moreover, child marriage, trafficking, rape, cybercrime and drug abuse are also quite apparent. According to Mahato, 35 per cent of the total number of marriages are between underage children. “In recent years, an increasing number of youth have been found taking drugs and getting involved in illegal smuggling,” he added.
Despite its high prevalence, not a single complaint has been lodged against any family demanding dowry this year so far, as per DSP Bhuwaneshwore Prasad Sah, Spokesperson of District Police Headquarters.
“People file for a complaint only when their daughters are physically abused by the groom’s family,” he said. Addressing the cases of violence during the programme, DSP Sah also provided with a few facts and figures to offer a glimpse of the grim reality in Rajbiraj.
According to him, four cases of attempted murder, three cases of child molestation, two cases of human trafficking, 15 cases of polygamy, 18 suicides, 23 cases of rape, nine cases of attempted rape, one gang rape, and other counts of misdemeanours have been filed in the court of law.