It’s saddening to see that still there exists places in our country where people still need to reminded that widows are human too and that they have a life to lead even after their husband’s death.
Marry a widow and get Rs 2 lakh. If reports are to be believed this is how the Madhya Pradesh’s social justice department proposed to combat the evil. The proposal is apparently applicable to women below the age of 45 years. Which means any man who seeks Rs 2 lakh easy money just needs to get married to a widow!
No, not so fast. The government has also laid down some conditions to avail of this monetary lure. Firstly, it has to be the groom’s first marriage and secondly, the marriage has to be solemnised in the district collectorate and marriage proofs issued by gram panchayats and local bodies will not be accepted.
While the intention of the MP government seems a step in the right direction, monetising the initiative rather degrades the institution of marriage and the actual chance of these widows have a fresh shot at living a happy married life. It goes to prove that in the end only money can force people to accept widows into society.
The country is sadly, still trying to grapple with issues of widow remarriage and the pathetic treatment meted out to widows in the country. Trying to bring about some order, the Supreme Court, in August, appointed a committee of social workers and a lawyer to suggest measures to be taken for rehabilitation of widows abandoned by their family members and to deliberate on framing a policy to promote widow remarriage in the country.
Seems like the Madhya Pradesh government has taken this directive to heart by coming up with this scheme. The MP government claims that for the first time in India, widow remarriage can be tackled in this manner. They are expecting close to 1000 widows remarrying under this initiative. Official reports say around 10 lakh widows may benefit from this initiative.
Not just that the MP government has a Rs 20 crore fund for this purpose for this year. Still in the draft stages, thankfully, the scheme proposes that any man willing to marry a widow aged between 18 years and 45 years will get Rs 2 lakh.
But, judging by the way human minds and government offices function we sure can see the Rs 20 crore corpus fund draining out within months.