Though our society is dominated by people who believe in regressive traditions and customs like dowry, a few are gathering the courage to break the norms and set an example for the rest. One such real hero is BSF constable Jitendra Singh.
On November 9, when Jitendra Singh was offered the dowry of Rs 11 Lakh at his wedding, no one had imagined that he would refuse to accept it. What would touch your heart is the fact that the BSF constable, just accepted Rs 11 and coconut from the bride’s parents as a token of love & respect.
Proudly, setting an example against the evil practice of dowry he clearly denied the cash being offered to him at the wedding and left the bride’s parents shocked.
Initially, the bride’s parents thought Jitendra refused the dowry because the baraatis (wedding guests) were unhappy with some of their arrangements. Recalling that special proud moment, 59-year-old Govind Singh Shekhawat, father of the bride Chanchal Shekhawat, told The Times of India:
“I was shocked and initially thought either the family of the bridegroom wanted more money or they were unhappy with the arrangements. Later, we realized that he and his family were totally against the money being offered to them.”
While sharing how the education of the bride mattered to him more than anything, Jitendra shared:
“The day I was told that my wife-to-be had done LLB and LLM and is also pursuing a PhD, I thought she is good enough for me and my family. That day, I made up my mind to not take any dowry and my family thought we will declare this decision to my in-laws on the wedding day itself.”
Jitendra further added that as Chanchal is preparing for Rajasthan Judicial Services (RJS), if she becomes a magistrate, that would be more valuable to his family than money.
Rajendra Singh, the groom’s father, told TOI,
“She is well-educated and thus we will further facilitate her in her higher studies.”
At IFORHER, we applaud the courage and thought-process of Jitendra and his progressive family as they value girl’s education over dowry. We hope this story will not only inspire more grooms and their parents to decline dowry but also inspire girls’ parents to priorities girls’ education over their marriage.