Thiruvananthapuram: In response to increasing complaints of dowry harassment within Kerala, the state government amended its Dowry Prohibition Rules in order to appoint ‘dowry prohibition officers’ within all 14 districts in order to counter the problem.
Health Minister Veena George said that the post of dowry prohibition officers had already existed in three districts-Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam and Kozhikode-and that it has now been extended to all districts. She said, in a statement, that the district women and child development officers would act as dowry prohibition officers.
As part of the initiative, the Director of Women and Child Development has been appointed the Chief Dowry Prohibition Officer. George said, ‘The appointment of the dowry prohibition officers is part of government’s plan to crack down on dowry in the face of increasing cases today.’
According to her, the government has already invited expressions of interest from voluntary organizations for assistance with dowry complaints after the first phase of training district officers has been completed. Additionally, she noted, steps have been taken to establish district advisory boards and intensify awareness campaigns.
Awareness classes on gender issues and rules for women are being offered to college students in conjunction with National Service Schemes, the minister added. In the wake of recent dowry-related deaths in the state, the LDF government has released a series of measures to curb the decades-old practice of giving and accepting dowry as part of marriages.
Recently, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan had observed a day-long fast to urge people to root out the menace. Moreover, state police launched the ‘Say No to Dowry’ campaign to counter dowry atrocities.