UP official’s new initiative to check dowry

A sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) in Bijnor district has hit upon a novel idea to fight against the dowry.

The SDM has started asking youths visiting his office for verification of various documents required for applying to or joining government jobs, to first sign an ‘anti dowry’ affidavit.

“If you want documents verified for a government job, you will have to give it in writing that you will not take dowry,” says a notice issued by SDM Devendra Singh, in his ‘personal capacity’.

Youths coming in for the attestation of their documents have no option but to sign the pledge.

Singh, who launched the initiative earlier this week, said, “The purpose is to eradicate dowry from society. The Dowry Prohibition Act is already in force. Under it, dowry includes property, goods or money given during marriage by parents of either party or by anyone else. Despite the Act, many people still seek dowry during marriages.”

Singh clarified that making the youths give such affidavits is his ‘personal decision’ and has nothing to do with the state government.

“I hope this decision of mine will have a psychological impact on the youths and will discourage them from accepting dowry when they get married,” the SDM said.

Since the initiative began, two men, who were selected for the Indian Army, have already given affidavits.

One of them, Shah Faisal, was the first to do so. In his affidavit, Faisal wrote: “I am unmarried, and I will not take any dowry whenever I get married.”

Singh had earlier launched an initiative under which people booked for breach of peace were readily granted bail on the condition that they would plant trees.

He said, “So far, nearly 12 people have given such affidavits. Their plantation work will be inspected on a random basis.”



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