Business Standard

Newly married couples get contraceptives at mass wedding in MP; sparks row

Couples were shocked to receive contraceptives as part of the administration's initiatives to spread awareness on family planning

Indian Wedding

Indian Wedding, wedding,marriage

BS Web Team New Delhi

Listen to This Article

After a mass wedding in the Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh (MP), newly-wed couples were surprised to receive condoms and contraceptive pills as wedding gifts from the administration.

According to the Times of India (TOI) Jhabua’s administration did this as a part of their family planning initiatives, however ended up facing backlash from the Opposition for “embarrassing” the couples.

Some state that the contraceptives were given inside makeup boxes with family planning logos such as ‘Nai Pahel Kit’ (new initiative kit) and had stickers of the national health mission inside, others claim that they were handed directly to the couple. The contraceptive pills were also under the ‘Government of India’ supply according to the report.

The mass wedding was under the Mukhyamantri Kanya Vivah Yojana held on Monday and married 292 women.

Congress has also reportedly criticised this step stating that while they support family planning, this was not the time nor place to take up such initiatives.

What are mass weddings?

Mass weddings, also known as collective weddings or group weddings, refer to ceremonies where multiple couples tie the knot simultaneously in a single event. These events are organised to provide economic support, reduce wedding costs, and promote social equality. Mass weddings have gained popularity in the country due to the diverse socio-cultural landscape and the prevalence of arranged marriages.

Where is this practiced?

In India, many states offer mass weddings, including Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, among others.

As the predominant religion in India, Hindu weddings are most commonly conducted. However, depending on state size and their respective communities, nearly all widely recognised religions have mass weddings including Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and Jains. These weddings follow all traditional wedding rituals and may even take place in a house of worship depending on the respective wedding practice.

Mukhyamantri Kanya Vivah Yojana

Mukhyamantri Kanya Vivah Yojana (Chief Minister Mass Marriage Scheme) was first launched in Madhya Pradesh in 2006.

It aimed to provide financial assistance and support to economically disadvantaged couples to organise their weddings in a collective manner, reducing the financial burden on families.

This scheme was designed to promote social equality and ensure that couples from financially weaker sections of society could have a dignified wedding ceremony.

Since then the schemes have been taken up in other states and similar mass marriage schemes have been implemented in various states across India organised by both non-government organisations and under government schemes. Uttar Pradesh had reported that as of March 2023, 200,000 women had been married under this scheme.

Benefits

Other than reduced wedding costs, those eligible may receive up to Rs 51,000. The breakup of which is  Rs 35,000 as financial assistance, Rs 10,000 to purchase matrimonial material and Rs 6,000 for the marriage itself. The amount is deposited into the girl child’s account.

Other benefits vary between the scheme and organisers, but typically may receive gifts including a small amount of gold or homeware and goods.

Don't miss the most important news and views of the day. Get them on our Telegram channel

First Published: May 31 2023 | 2:01 PM IST

Explore News