The Patel community in Gujarat, known for their entrepreneurial skill and hold over agriculture and business, is facing an unusual sociological crisis - a skewed male-female ratio and having to "buy" tribal brides for their boys.
"Skewed male-female ratio in the Patel community - especially among the Kadva Patels - has created a severe sociological problem.
As a result of declining female ratio, the Patels are going to tribal areas of Vadodara, Bharuch, Panchmahals and other district of Gujarat to "buy" tribal girls by paying around Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh.
There are not enough Patel girls to marry the Patel boys. As a result, they are forced to buy girls from tribal areas of Gujarat to get their boys married " said Prof Gaurang Jani, a noted sociologist of Gujarat University.
Among the Patels, there are two sub-castes - the Leva Patels and the Kadva Patels. Though both of these sections of Patels are enterprising and have made a name for themselves around the world as entrepreneurs and businessmen, the Leva Patels occupy a higher place in the caste heirarchy.
The Leva Patels are also better off economically than the Kadva Patels because the former possess the most fertile lands of Charottar region of Gujarat in Anand and Kheda districts while the latter posess lands in Saurashtra and North Gujarat which are less fertile and drought-prone.