A village in central Kashmir’s Budgam district has outlawed dowry. Residents of Shunglipora village solemnise marriages without demanding dowry. They prefer to get married in their native village, which helps them to conserve their traits.
Hamid Ahmad Khan, one of the residents of Shunglipora village, told The Rising Kashmir that the people here prefer to get married in their own village.
Khan said that the people do not prefer to get married outside their village. “There are also zero domestic violence cases in our village. All the villagers are aware of the status of women in Islam,” he added.
"In our village, people do not accept dowries, which resulted in our village having no dowry cases, as people also do not face hardships during weddings. It also protects those who cannot afford hefty wedding expenses,” he added.
Misra Bano, another woman from the village, said she got married 40 years ago, as this village is also her birthplace.
"My four children have also been married in the same village. My brothers, sisters, and parents live in the same village, "she said.
Bano said residents of the village do not accept or demand any kind of dowry in marriage. “We live in a remote village where the majority of the people cannot afford a dowry, which is the best thing about our village.
"Only the groom's family must provide the bride's family with Rs 50,000 as Mehr, which is a norm in our village."
Gulzar Ahmad, another local resident, said people in their village are happy. They do not take a loan from the banks for marriage purposes.
"The brides and grooms in our village prefer simple and dowry-free marriages as every family has become able to get their daughters married-off without facing any hardships," he said.
Ghulam Muhammad Malik, Numbardar of the Shunglipora village, said the village currently has 1200 households comprising nearly 5000 people.
"The main sources of income for the people are livestock, carpet weaving, Pashmina work, and agriculture. Residents speak Kashmiri and Pahari languages in the village," Mailk said.
He said people are solemnizing marriages in a simple manner. They prefer only a cup of tea for the marriage or nikkah ceremonies which costs very little, as most people cannot afford a huge amount of money to spend on their marriages.