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NGOs to curb dowry deaths

Demand for dowry and consequent harassment or killing are social problems. The solution lies in involving volunteers from society at large. Sudhir Yadav, Joint Commissioner of Police(Crime Against Women Cell)

delhi Updated: Jul 18, 2010 23:55 IST
Jatin Anand
Jatin Anand
Hindustan Times

Two women are killed for dowry each week in Delhi.

Even as this number doubled in the last week, the Delhi Police is gradually roping in NGOs and community organizations to stall the brisk pace at which the capital’s women are being executed for bringing “inadequate” dowry to their in-laws’ homes.

“The demand for dowry and consequent harassment or killing for not providing it are social problems. Hence, the only solution for these lies in involving volunteers from society at large,” said Sudhir Yadav Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime Against Women cell).

According to Delhi Police figures, 66 cases of dowry deaths have been registered in the first half of this year alone, that’s 11 women executed for dowry per month.

Though the total number has seen a dip of three cases in comparison to corresponding figures from the last year, the period of a mere nine days from July 8 to July 16 saw five women from across the socio-economic spectrum being found dead in mysterious circumstances at their in-laws’ homes one day after the other.

“In all five cases, the victims’ families alleged that their daughters who had been harassed for months by their in-laws had finally been murdered for dowry. Cases of dowry death have been registered at respective police stations and an SDM-level inquiry has been ordered in each,” said a senior police officer wishing to remain anonymous.

Each victim was in her 20s and had been married for a period ranging between six months to slightly more than a year.

“To counter this sociological menace we have already created a group comprising 15 to 16 NGOs. Independent social workers working in localities deemed economically and academically backward have also been roped in for the project,” JCP Yadav told Hindustan Times.

Apart from social workers, volunteers hailing from the Mahila Panchayats and the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee have also been incorporated in the project.

“The volunteers go from home to home in various backward localities such as Seelampur and Usmanpur in northeast Delhi to Fatehpur Beri and Kotla Mubarakpur in the south to provide marital counselling to couples,” JCP Yadav said.

He said that due to the intervention of volunteers, marital discord issues of 10 per cent of the couples get solved at the pre-FIR level, while another 10 to 20 per cent cases are resolved post-FIR.

“Social change takes time, in this context this can be seen in the fact that there has been a reduction of three cases,” JCP Yadav added.

First Published: Jul 18, 2010 23:49 IST