WCD minister bats for registrar office weddings
Keep it simple and get married at the registrar's office is one of the key messages the Women and Child Development (WCD) department of Maharashtra wants to spread as part of their gender sensitisation awareness programme. Varsha Gaikwad, State WCD minister said the department was thinking of offering incentives for girls to get married at the registrar's office.
"This will avoid unnecessary hassles poor families face by taking loans to ensure a daughter or son is married in a grand manner," Gaikwad said at the 'No Girl No World' regional consultation on the National Action PLan to improve sex ratio at birth, held at Hotel Vits Convention Centre, Balewadi on Friday.
Union MoS for Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath and others were present.
There is an effort to evaluate current conditional cash incentives for various schemes for the poor families. "During various tours I have found that poor families also want to emulate weddings of high income families. They however get trapped in a vicious circle where loans have to be taken and then at times the girls are harassed for more money from in-laws," Gaikwad said.
Referring to the skewed sex ratio at birth, Gaikwad said there is a need for changing the mindset of people. The Hingoli district pattern of celebrating the birth of a girl child is unique as sweets are not only distributed among family members but the entire village comes together and celebrates, she said.
The WCD has also planned awareness drives to sensitise frontline workers like Accredited Social Health Activists, Anganwadi workers and Auxillary Nursing Midwives. Gaikwad also urged Tirath to look into issues like 50 per cent reservation for women in government jobs.
"We often find that if a woman has not been in a job or held the post for a consecutive three years, the post is no longer reserved for women," Gaikwad said. She urged that free education should be imparted to women until graduation instead of Class XII.