The moment a girl child is born in a family even before people congratulate the couple the first statement that make is “So sad, now they have to work all their life to collect Dowry for her wedding.” People mentally start calculating the couple’s salaries and the amount of savings they will have to make in order to get their daughters married. Seriously !!! we claim to live in the 21st century, our stock markets have reached 21000 yet the society has hiccups when we decide to spend 21000 towards the tution fees for our daughters. So finally let us openly discuss about what exactly is this evil called as Dowry that we blindly practise in our society.

Concept of dowry:
Dowry is basically the gift that is given by the Girl’s parents to the girl and her family. Earlier when people were farmers and did not have much source of income a new daughter in law would mean additional expenses, therefore during the wedding the Bride’s father would send some gifts or essentials with her during the wedding. In some parts the custom of Dowry prevailed because ours being a patriarchal society, girls earlier were not allowed to inherit their father’s properties. Therefore during weddings when the girl goes to another family her father gives her share in the family property which the male members of the family would later have a share.

Let us highlight on one more fact about the above practises,during those days women were married at an age as early as 9 or 10 years. There was no formal education per se given to them and most importantly they did not work or have independent income during those times. As and when time passed this system which should have been technically abolished is creating more of a nuisance today. Even though there are a few men and their families who are against dowry and do not accept dowry during their wedding but are forced to accept dowry by the bride herself because she would not later get a share in her father’s property. Therefore during weddings when the girl goes to another family her father gives her share in the family propoerty which the male members would have a share later on.

Let us highlight on one more fact about the above practices, during those days, women were married at an age as early as 9 or 10 years. There was no formal education per se given to them and most importantly they did not work or have independent income during those times. As and when time passed this system which should have been technically abolished is creating more of a nuisance today. Even though there are a few men and their families who are against dowry and do not accept dowry during their wedding but are forced to accept dowry by the bride herself because later on she would not get a share in her father’s property.

Sthridhan

This is a terminology, which is used very less and I am sure a lot of women would not even know the existence of this concept. Sthridhan is basically the gift, which is given to a Bride and stays with her till the end of her lifetime. A few examples of Sthridhan are Mangalsutra, Wedding Ring, Toe Ring, Payal or any other gift that the Bride has received from her parents or in laws exclusively during her wedding.

The difference between Dowry and Stridhan is that Dowry may be demanded and may be given to the entire family of in-laws but Stridhan is something that is given by both the Bride’s and the groom’s family to the Bride and stays with her forever.

Dowry is definetly a social evil which we all need to abolish together for the betterment of our society.

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