What government campaigns and social activists could not do in all these years, ‘inauspicious’ planetary conjunctions did on Akshay Tritiya in Madhya Pradesh on Monday. Hardly any underage marriage was reported from any part of the state as there was no ‘shubh muhurat’ or ‘shubh lagan’ on the day or for the next two months after May 4 this year for tying the knot.
Akshay Tritiya or Akha Teej is celebrated on the third day of Shukla Paksha (bright fortnight) of Vaisakha when both the sun and the moon are at their extreme point. The occasion is considered very auspicious for marriages and over the years gained notoriety for child marriages.
Last year, the women and child development department officials had stopped at least 34 underage marriages in different parts of the state on Akshya Tritiya, but this year just two to three cases have been reported.
“After 100 years, in the planetary alignment Venus, considered the lord of marital life, is combusted. This anomaly or ‘nakshatra dosh’ can cause harm to marriages that are solemnized when either Venus or Jupiter is weak,” said Vinod Singh Rana, a priest.
Child right activist Prashant Dubey said: “I am happy that when the government couldn’t change mindset of the people, a planet did it effectively. Otherwise several underage marriages are soleminised on Akshya Tritiya.”
According to sources in the woman and child development said that a child marriage was stopped on the outskirts of Bhopal on Monday, while the department has prevented more than 60 underage marriages in the current marriage season.
Women empowerment commissioner Jayshree Qiyawat said empowerment officers in all the districts were on alert throughout the day.
“They took out rallies and also held awareness campaign in the last few weeks,” she said.
30% rise in gold sales
Akshya Tritiya brought back smile on the face of city jewelers. After dip in sale in the last two years, gold purchase witnessed almost a 30% rise on the Monday. Bhopal sarafa association member Manoj Agrawal said: “After long time, we received good response from the customers. Heavy footfall was seen at jewellery shops.”