CAIRO - A group of Indian Muslim youths have started a new movement to warn the community against taking dowry, highlighting the outgoing tradition's threats to poor families, The Times of India reported on Saturday, April 14.
"Taking dowry is a punishable offence under the Dowry Prevention Act,1961, Farhan Mohammed, the president of Youth Against Dowry (YAD), said as he launched YAD campaign near Idgah Juma Masjid at Light House Hill in Mangalore.
Despite having such a strong law we could not eradicate the menace. Hence, we took up the responsibility of creating awareness against it.
YAD, a platform of Muslim youth, started its movement on Friday to make the community free from the dowry threats through a signature campaign.
Putting dowry as one of the major threats in the Indian community, the main objective of YAD was announced to eradicate this tradition from all Jama Aths in Dakshina Kannada district through campaigns and protests.
In Indian community, the family of the bride pays the dowry.
Clarifying the bad effects of the tradition, Mohammed said that several young girls were obliged to discontinue education because the parents have the responsibility of getting them married off.
Several parents were also forced to take loans from banks to pay dowry to the groom.
As a result of rising poverty, activists also warned that the sale of brides has become prevalent in India's rural areas in the past decade.
Parents in some rural areas were also selling their kidneys to pay for dowry.
"There have been several instances where youngsters have discontinued their education and parents of girls have been forced to take huge loans just to give dowry, Mohammed said.
We will make people pledge that they will not take dowry.
Educating the community about the threats of dowry tradition, the Muslim youth organization is planning awareness campaigns in different cities in the Dakshina Kannada Indian district.
We will meet each Jamaths to create awareness against dowry among people and religious leaders, Mohammed, the president of YAD, told The Times of India.
We will make youths pledge not to take dowry.
YAD also has plans to exhibit a documentary titled 'Urulu' that explains the plight of a few Muslim families in the region who were exposed to the evil effects of dowry.
The documentary will be shown in various parts of the district, if Jamath members take initiatives to make arrangements.
All this and more needs to be spoken eloquently and this evil system should stop somewhere, Mohammed added.
Village-level branches of YAD will also be opened to carry forward the movement.
Nearly 100 youth from the community have already signed for YAD campaign at Puttur town in the Dakshina Kannada district n south-western India.
There are some 140 million Muslims in Hindu-majority India, the world's third-largest Muslim population after those of Indonesia and Pakistan.