Ranchi resident Daisy Sinha rejected all men who had dowry on their minds and instead decided never to marry
Daisy Sinha(50), a Madhubani and Sohrai artist and social activist, got the better of dowry and decided never to get married. Determined to rise against the digressive social practice, she continued to deny marriage proposals which came on the pretext of some ‘exchange’. Presently, she, along with two of her friends, runs an NGO ‘Wishwas’, where she provides vocational training to women to help them earn an alternative livelihood.
‘I am proud of myself’
Touching 50 and still being single doesn’t bother me. Not succumbing to dowry demands and living my life my way has made me more determined to fight social evils.
In 1996, when I had just completed my bachelors in Biology (Honours), my family was gearing up to get me married to a boy of a renowned family from Ranchi.
My father and other relatives never let me come to know about the demands made by the boy’s family. I used to stay with my brother-in-law in Ranchi since childhood. He was very close to me but he too never told me about the demands.
I remember once in the evening when I was cooking, I found my brother and sister crying. I asked my sister why was she crying but she didn’t say anything. I sensed something was amiss by the way they were crying. She locked herself in a room to prevent any kind of conversation with me.
My brother after a lot of persuasion told me that the boy, whom I was supposed to get married to, and his mother, had insulted them when they had gone to inform them about my father coming a day late to give them the dowry amount.
The boy’s family had demanded a fridge, a television, a sofa set and several other items which my father had agreed upon seeing their sound family background.
He further said my would-be mother-in-law insulted my family hearing the news of delay in getting the ‘said’ amount.
Knowing the mental harassment my family was subjected to, I decided that day itself, I won’t ever marry a man who asks for dowry.
I kept on rejecting proposals that came in the name of dowry and my family kept on telling me a girl needs to marry and get settled. They tried their best to convince me otherwise. But I knew what I had to do.
Today, they are happy for me and appreciate my decision.
I firmly believe we cannot make everyone happy. Many girls agree to get married due to peer pressure but is that right?
There were times when people questioned my character but I never really bothered.
People know me today for the work that I am doing and that gives me immense satisfaction.
I could not have promoted the Madhubani and Sohrai paintings on the international platform if I had tied the knot to some guy who was hung-up on dowry. The fact that I can make a difference to so many women’s lives makes me proud.
(As told to Deepak Mahato)