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Bhil tribals in MP ban the practice of child marriage

Decision comes after recognising many ill-effects of the age-old practice 

Guna/Bhopal: All good things take time and so did this one. Bhils of Guna district have decided to ban the practice of child marriage.

The decision of the tribals of a town may seem small, but it is a big leap towards a civilised society and a payoff for hard work done on awareness about such malpractices.  B Vijay Dutta, Guna collector 

A mega congregation or a maha panchayat of the Bhil people was organised in Mahadeopura village of Raghogarh town on Monday where important decisions were taken to push the tribe towards a more civilised society.

Known as a community left outside the realm of mainstream civilisation, Bhils have set a remarkable example.

As per organisers, tribal people from around 100 villages of Guna and Vidisha took part in the congregation. During the meeting, it was decided that no child marriages would be held in the tribe. Stakeholders also decided that consumption of alcohol would also be banned during holy functions. The icing on the cake is a decision to ban the evil practice of dowry in marriages. The community people think ending the practice would also curb the debt of the community people.

Tribals also passed a resolution to ban the use of mobile phones by unmarried girls. But those girls studying in school and colleges are exempted from the ban.

The meeting was held in Mahadeo temple of the village where the resolutions were passed with the deity as witness. 

Child marriage, an unbreakable tradition

  • While marriage of children in their early teens was a regular practice in the community, the villagers, after acknowledging the ill effects of early marriage on the lives of young couples and newborn babies, came up with this resolution.
  • “No one below the age of 18 will be allowed to marry,” said Rai Singh, a community member.
  • However, this was not achieved in a single day. Villagers suffered a series of serious setbacks by marrying their children at an early age. Subsequent meetings in the village reaffirmed their stand to educate children to complete high school studies.

 

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