Monday, March 8, 2010


 Hi all,

We are planning to launch a NO DOWRY CAMPAIGN at AID NCR level.

The basic idea is to spread more awareness about the damages caused due to prevalence of DOWRY in Indian society, and how it is related to other gender issues ranging from female foeticide to neglect of girl child to relegated position of women in Indian society.

This campaign is in its inception phase and we will needing more inputs and helping hands to make it a more successful one. Please go through the basic FAQs about this campaign and how you can be a part of it.

Q: Why a campaign like NO DOWRY ?

Ans: While we at AID have been involved in campaigns from time to time related to social justice, there have been fewer campaigns which call for actions to redefine our personal lives, and the larger impact it has on society. It might seem that dowry has been issue of the past, and is not a "burning issue" anymore, given that we hear of only few incidents on and off in the media. However, by the term dowry, here we don't intend to keep it restricted to the cash or wedding gifts, which the girl's parents need to give during marriage, but would also include the exorbitant costs which the girl's parents have to bear for ostentatious celebrations for the sake of keeping a certain "status" in society.

This phenomenon is not restricted to the affluent upper class and upper middle class, but the pressure for dowry in subtle forms exist also in lower socio-economic strata of the society and where girls are seen more as an economic burden on the family. There have been laws since last five decades to prevent the menace of dowry. However, the implementation has been poor. What we really need is not more Anti-Dowry legislation's, but more active involvement from the members of civil society in discouraging this pernicious trend and strengthening the position of women in society.

Q: Who is the target audience of this campaign?

Ans: While our efforts will be to make this campaign to make a more inclusive one, to reach a wider audience, we will be initially aiming to reach the AID NCR volunteer base. As the saying goes, "Be the change you wish to see in the world", we intend to involve the volunteers, urging them to redefine their own personal lives, and what changes they can incorporate in their own lives, especially in terms of changing the trends within their own families with respect to their own weddings. As we will get more volunteers for being part of this campaign, we will aim to reach our friends, colleagues and more college students. While this campaign is essentially targeted towards the bachelors, married people are most welcome to provide solidarity to the campaign and help with their experiences in making this campaign a more successful one.

Q: What all things can I do to be part of this campaign?

Ans: We haven't finalized on all the action items related to this campaign, we would like to suggest the following steps which the volunteers can take:

  • Take a pledge for a NO DOWRY wedding - You would pledge that you will not take any kind of dowry in your marriage.
  • Strive for a simple wedding: You should try to have as simple wedding as possible. Lavish spending on weddings adds to the burden on girl's parents and needs to be discouraged. At the same time, the guy's family should share at least 50% of the total wedding expenses.
  • Don't change your surname after marriage (for girls): We need to challenge the traditional patriarchial society, and one of the steps can be, that girls after marriage should not change their surname. They grow up with a certain identity and marriage should not be the reason to foresake it. "Marriage is a women's choice not her destiny".
  • Have more say in the marriages in the family: Try to have more say during the wedding arrangements of your siblings and cousins. Before we reach others, we should try to convince our own family members. 
  • Spread more awareness: Spread more awareness about the aftereffects of dowry and the need of challenging the traditional patriarchial system prevalent in society, to enable the women to have their due position in society. This can include reaching your friends, colleagues, colleges and your neighbourhood associations.
  • Promote No Dowry Matrimony Sites: Promote matrimonial websites which discourage dowry, and hence enabling people to find their life partners without the strings of dowry attached. Some relevant matrimony sites are: , ,
  • Promote Inter-caste Marriages: Many a times, the instances of dowry happen because people seek alliances only in their same caste, which leads to limited options. We should make an effort to encourage more inter-caste marriages which will provide more options to people for seeking suitable alliances without paying dowry. is a matrimony site which is promoting inter-caste marriages.
  • Make an online presence: Try to reach more online communities related to Anti-Dowry and try to promote more anti-dowry messages on social networking sites. Let's make people realize that this is still a grave problem and needs attention. Also, you can write more blogs and articles on this issue.
  • Collaborate with organizations working on gender issues: We can collaborate with other organizations that are specifically working on gender issues and can take their help in strengthening the campaign.
  • Publicize more in media: Try to highlight the issue more in mainstream media by approaching newspapers and TV channels to reach a wider audience.

Please go through the attached powerpoint to get some more insights about the issue.

Also, please go through the articles below to know more about the issue in detail.

We would be forming a team of volunteers to work on this campaign. We would be discussing about this campaign on an informal basis after the scheduled ORM sessions.

Kindly provide your inputs/suggestions to make this campaign a more successful one.

Thanks and regards,


India: 50 Years On, Dowry Is Still With Us (

'Dowry, the inherited stigma of Indian society' (

Why is dowry prevalent in India? (

Dowry by Techies! Shameful act still prevalent in the Indian Society. (


Supreme Court expresses anguish over continuing dowry deaths (


Indian brides pay a high price (


A brand called dowry (


 Female Foeticide


A murderous arithmetic (


Where have they all gone? (


The Daughter Deficit — Exploring Declining Sex Ratios in India (


India’s missing girls- nipping them in the bud (


Inter caste marriages


Can Love Conquer Caste? (


Post-marital Rechristening


What’s in a sire’s name? (


What’s in a name? (


The Naming Game (



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