Patna: After banning liquor completely in Bihar in April, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has plans to launch a comprehensive campaign against social ills of dowry and child marriage.
The chief minister had earlier called the liquor ban a revolutionary step that has, in a single swipe, reduced crime, promoted communal harmony and improved the eating habits of people.
Just like the liquor ban, Mr Kumar now plans to take an intensive drive against dowry and child marriage.
Earlier this week, he had said that said that escalating demands of dowry are a worrying sign. He had also stressed that it’s high time child marriages be completely stamped out.
India accounts for a third of the world’s child brides and about half of Indian women get married before they turn 18, as per data from United Nations Population Fund.
According to the government data, around 25,000 women were either killed or committed suicide due to dowry harassment by their in-laws between 2012 and 2014.
An IndiaSpend analysis of the Census data showed that nearly 12 million Indian children were married before the age of 10 years–84 per cent of them Hindu and 11 per cent Muslim.
The government’s campaign plans to act as a deterrent to these prevailing ills.
The Bihar government had earlier launched schemes towards the empowerment of women. The liquor ban, too, provided a big relief to women in the state – specially to rural women who had said that now their husbands contribute more in the house and the incidents of domestic violence also reduced remarkably.
With free distribution of bicycle, uniform and books, the government has also taken up several schemes to boost the literacy rate among girls.