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In this Guj village, bride’s kin give groom ‘breathalyser’ test

October 27, 2019 05:57 AM



Usually, a groom’s educational and professional qualifications are scrutinised before fixing a marriage, but a Gandhinagar village, populated mainly by the Thakor community, has a slightly different criterion.

At Piyaj village in Kalol taluka of Gandhinagar, at least 25 people smell the breath of the groom, his father and other male members of his family before fixing a marriage, at the engagement ceremony, and at the wedding.

On the wedding day, the groom and his male family members are checked by at least 25 members of the bride’s family. If the groom ends up failing the human breathalyser test, he is not allowed to go forward with the marriage.

Above that, if a marriage is broken due to the husband’s abuse of alcohol, the man’s family has to pay Rs 1 lakh compensation to the woman’s family. This ‘tradition’ started in the village four years ago, after around 15 male villagers, all below 20, died due to alcohol abuse.

Rameshji Thakor is the sarpanch of the village, which has a population of 5,500, of whom nearly 3,600 belong to the Thakor community. Rameshji said, “We have seen many cases where a woman’s life is ruined due to an alcoholic husband. So, we decided that community elders or panches will thoroughly enquire into the man’s background before he is married.”

“Due to this initiative, we have succeeded in curbing the menace of liquor in the village. A few alcoholics even had to quit liquor in order to get life partners,” Rameshji said. He said many of the boys who started drinking liquor by the time they were 12 or 13 died before even reaching adulthood.

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