By SHUBHAJIT Chakraborty
Inside a gated two storey in the village of Sonepat district resides a well established family. They are not happy because their 29-year son is yet to be married. The reason; there are no girls to marry. Mohan Madhav Godbole, the director of Bal Gram, an orphanage in Sonepat district in Haryana, is no more shocked nowadays when he hear someone asks to “buy” girls from his institution. It is now quite a common routine when villagers come to him and ask for girls to lend. No, this is not any script of cinema but a fact of real life, though little more pathetic than reel life.
The slanted sex ratio – 861 girls per 1000 boys (2001 census) – says it all. More than 60 percent of the men in Bambla village in Bhilwani district are unmarried. There are no girls to marry. The situation stoop so low that people brings girls from other states like Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Assam. The sex ratio is worse in Bhiwani – 788 girls per 1000 boys. In Sonepat it is 841. People are so desperate that they buy girls, mostly minors from the eastern and southern India. These women are called ‘Paros’, as they are “imported” from other states. Now the situation is this, men hunt brides in orphanages.
In a report by United Population Fund (UNFPA), the parental son selection in several Asian countries is likely to have severe social consequences in coming years. They predicted imbalance in sex ratio would affect severely on society. French demographer Christopher Guilmoto, regional authority, had warned that the shortage of adult women would affect the stability of the entire marriage system. Many poor men wouldn’t get a bride, creating a gulf in the society and cause of social unrest in coming years.
Adding insult to the injury, men in Haryana face other problems too. The Jat men have to get four gotras matched for their marriage – that of the paternal grand mother, mother, the groom and the maternal grandmother. This is a cumbersome process, and limits the options to a large extent. Now, most of the districts such as Mewat, Karnal, Sonepat are on the race of buying minors from far states such as Bihar, Bangalore and Uttar Pradesh.
In the villages most of the marriages follow the atta satta system, wherein the two families exchange a boy for a girl. According to an affluent villager who didn’t want to disclose his name revealed that they would cash of 5000- 10,000 for a girl brought from other states. The problems faces by women are also momentous. They need to adapt themselves with the strange environment, faces many problems such as food habit, language, climate and cultural structure.
A case point is Andhra Pradesh. It was a major supplier of women but has now set up anti-human trafficking centres with the cooperation of police, NGOs and the government. Similarly, Tamil Nadu, Goa, West Bengal, too have come forward with solid measures.