One Wedding Equalled Respect To 200 Women In Jharkhand: How

A couple named Ramlal and Sahodari is in a live-in relationship for almost 30 long years. They had kids. One of their child Jeeteshwar and ...

A couple named Ramlal and Sahodari is in a live-in relationship for almost 30 long years. They had kids. One of their child Jeeteshwar and his wife Aruna also have a five-month-old son. But Sahodari and Ramlal became wife and husband along with their son. So confusing right? Jeeteshwar parents and himself got married on the same day. It was a community wedding ceremony.

A mass marriage was conducted in the state of Jharkhand by an organisation. The NIMITTA named organisation is a social one which conducts marriages to such live-in couples. The organisation undertakes all related cases especially live-ins in the tribal communities of the State.

In every similar live-in relation in a tribal community, the male is not raised a finger at. The female in the relationship is socially stigmatised and insulted. She is often called with names and their relationship mocked as a stigma. Having faced such a life for 30 years, and now getting relieved of it, Sahodari is overwhelmed.

Sahodari in her words says this, "I am so relieved to be finally called the 'wife' and not a 'Dhukni'. Now, my status in the society will increase, and my son will have official claims on the ancestral property of my husband". The term is given to a woman 'who has entered into a man's house, living with him without marrying him'.

The stigma that is surrounded here around the same relationship is not of entirely social, it is monetary, ritual and traditional. Another female who got married in the same community marriage had to say this about the reason for so many couples in a live-in relationship.

"The villagers do not allow us to get married till we throw a feast for the entire village. Since many of us are daily wage earners and cannot afford to spend such kind of money, we never get married". A situation here prevails that the 'whole society needs to be fed to accept an alliance between two people, or else it is invalid'.

Founder of NIMITTA social org, Nikita Sinha says, "These villagers earn about Rs 200-250 a day, which is not on a regular basis. In such a situation, they cannot afford to throw a party for the entire village. The villagers, however, do not allow their wedding to be solemnised until they are served food and drinks on the occasion". 

Nikita furthermore adds about the facts of this kind of traditional blockage. She says, " Thus, thousands of couples never get married. We have come across many such cases where the entire village is living as ‘Dhukua’ because none of them could afford a decent wedding". 

The couples in the live-in relationships are not taunted but the women are not given due respect. And any child born out of the relationship is not socially recognised. And so the org founder says, "We get them married in a ceremony as well as get their marriages registered so that in future, they do not face any problems". 



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All India Daily: One Wedding Equalled Respect To 200 Women In Jharkhand: How
One Wedding Equalled Respect To 200 Women In Jharkhand: How
All India Daily
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