CHANDIGARH: Haryana’s skewed gender ratio, a result of rampant female foeticide, has sparked off a full-scale business of buying brides with hundreds of young women now being sourced from a dozen Indian states and even Nepal, says a research study.
It notes that Haryanvi men are procuring brides by paying between Rs 35,000 and Rs 1.50 lakh, depending on their social status, beauty, marriage status and education of brides. “The bride buying business is booming too, with commission agents making big money,” says the paper.
The brides, who are called ‘Paro’ or ‘Kharidi hui’ or ‘Mol-ki-bahu’, are literally treated as chattels and sold. They come from poor families in Bihar, Assam, West Bengal, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and also Nepal, says Aditya Parihar, a research scholar of Center for Social Work at Punjab University.
In his study on Bride Buying in Haryana, Parihar notes that women are brought to transit points in Delhi, Palwal, Karnal, Kalka and Ambala and sent onwards to the ‘buyer husbands’.
Parihar reiterates that skewed sex ratio has led to a shortage of girls for marriage in Haryana and led to bride buying. The study noted that people in rural areas were not aware of trafficking for marriages and the agents take advantage of this situation-‘trapping’ poor girls from other states. Also, buying of girls is not restricted to any one caste. All landowning castes, brahmins, backward and scheduled castes indulge in it where the status of the male in the immediate society is low.
It says, the prospective grooms were either illiterate or little educated and mostly working as small farmers or skilled and semi-skilled labourers, earning less than Rs 10,000 per month.
However, there are serious maladjustment of such couples due to culture and language differences and significant age difference between the groom and the bride.