MARRIAGE OR SALES ADVERTISEMENT?
On July 15, 2009, Nepal’s government brings a new budget for single women where if any person marries widow, they will be respect with Rs. 50,000 cash as a present. The government brings this program from the suggestion of economists for social security. May be the government has thought that it will bring positive change in the community but what actually the single women are thinking about the program and respect. I have talked with 10 widows about the program from different area but here I am presenting only some. While talking with them, it seems that actually single women are against the government program. I have also used some parts from Kantipur, a highly prestigious daily newspaper in Nepal.
Shagi Chaudhari, 38, is worried about the prestige of single women. Her husband passed away 5 years ago. She said in a sad face, my community will treat me and my new husband differently from the program. This selfish community will say that my new husband marry me for Rs. 50,000 even if we marry to live instead of that amount. Does the government return our prestige after my marriage? Not only she many of others are also worried about their prestige and respected community.
Nirmala Adhakari, age unknown, married a man 5 years ago. She became widow in her marriage. Her first marriage was on 2061 Magh 8 (Nepali date), on the way from Dang to her bridge home Pyuthan, they had an accident and her bridegroom died on the spot. She became widow without opening her bride dresses. In the accident 41 others relatives also died, but fortunately she was alive. After two years, she got married with journalist on 2063 Baishakh 24. Currently, her husband said her, “if 3 years ago the situation was like today, I would not marry you because our community will talked about us saying that I married you only for Rs. 50,000. Thanks there were no any program like that in the past.” Nirmala also says that “if someone marries single women thinking positively like my husband, our community will put spectacle and tell him selfish because of the government Rs. 50,000 presents.” It can bring mental depression to a couple. It’s true that still in our community people talk a lot without thinking. One or two couples cannot go against our community, it will be more challenging. I am not against the program, but I wanted to find the effectiveness of the program.
Another single woman, Krishna kumari Karki, 45, became widow 5 years ago. Though she is in her forties, she looked like she is in her thirties. Actually, when I asked her about single women married, she was shocked because she had never thought that the government will bring such program. Immediately, she said “Are the governments mad, they cannot provide me widow incentives, how are they thinking to provide money for our marriage? What types of change they want to bring? Is it a change or sales?” 20 years ago, she sold all her properties in India and came to stay in Nepal but till today she didn’t have citizenship. In our law, If someone stay 16 years, they will get citizenship no matter where they born or grew up. I talked with Rajan Bhattarai, the VDC secretary for the recommendation, and he has agreed to help her to get citizenship. He also said that it is impossible to get widow incentives without the citizenship, marriage record and death record.
Moreover, Maiya Katwal, 39, suggests the government to provide incentives to every widow, no limitation of age. “It is very difficult to grow up three children without any source of income; the government has to think about our current situation rather than our future. If we aren’t able to eat twice today what’s the important of thinking for tomorrow. We might die tomorrow because of starvation,” she said with eyes full of tears. She started to live single life from 10 years ago, and till today she hasn’t get any widow incentives. She said that many times she went to the VDC office and asked about the widow incentives, but the VDC secretary told her that they will provide widow incentives after the age of 60.
It also diminishes those people’s confidence who wanted to marry single women positively. Therefore, the government should bring awareness and empowerment program instead of providing sales price to single women. Please friends’ share your feelings if someone wants to marry for Rs. 50,000, is that a marriage or sales advertisement?