A socially accepted custom in rural Rajasthan forces women into a string of marriages approved by their families or even husbands for the “bride price” they get from the new groom. Its also called as “Chunar Daalna”
In India where if a girl is born people still say “Oh No…Its an girl Child” on the other hand in Alwar, Tonk, Bhilwara and Chittorgarh districts of Rajasthan if a girl child is born in a family people celebrates double. Girls are considered to be source of income for poor tribals and villagers.
As soon as girl starts walking on two legs their family members teach them how to dance in front of men instead of sending them to school for proper education. As soon as girl enters her teens she is been daily taken to perform dance in front of Tehsildar and Sarpanch of all nearing villages who come along with rich men of their villages to see their dances. The girls who attracts any men, that men put’s a “chunar-dupatta” on her head which means she is his property now. He also rewards girl’s family members with money means sold.
short-lived child marriage is followed by a cynical and emotionally wrenching merry-go-round of relationships which involves money and has a social sanction under the label of “rishta”
In just span of a few months these girls in their early teens are already been married and slept with three four different men. Every time when men get bored sleeping with same girl having sex with same body again and again they leave that girl pregnant back to her parents or himself sells her to another man forcing her to dance in front of them and himself puts chunar on another girl’s head. This way women brings money to her family which they meet their expenditures. This process is called as “bride prizing”
This unique custom, prevalent in areas inhabited mostly by the backward classes and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, allows a woman to marry another man after her marriage breaks down. That sounds reformist- except that, in most cases, it’s the husbands who break the marriage and pass on their wives to others in return for money. This money, the “bride price”, they then utilise to “buy” themselves new wives.
While the Government ignores the practice, even fathers at times force their daughters into one marriage after another, making money from each deal, with the protection of the panchayats and the police who get a cut of the bride price
These young tribal girls are being daily molested, physically abused by their husbands in name of “rishta” for months and then thrown back to their own family or sold again. They are not even allowed to their kids along with them.
These women’s fear to give birth of a girl child as they know that they will have to face the same rituals which their mother had to face. Many rajasthani women’s kill their own daughters and burry them in ground in order to protect them from such ritual.
Is this a marriage ritual or rape in name of “rishta” ?
Government, police no one is coming forward raising their voice to stop business of women in name of marriage. This ritual still continues…….
No. of relationships: 4
Last bride price paid for her: Rs 1 lakh
Marital history: Is with her third husband Soji Gujjar. Earlier alliances include an elopement
No. of marriages: 3
Last bride price paid for her: Rs 30,000
Marital history: Had two children with third husband Misri Lal before his other wife separated them.
No. of relationships: 3
Last bride price paid for her: Rs 80,000
Marital history: Back with first husband Rang Lal, a labourer, after two alliances, one an elopement
No. of marriages: 3
Last bride price paid for her: Rs 19,000
Marital history: Was a child bride for one day. Sent to a man double her age. Now married to mason Jagdish