Academic journal article Journal of Psychosocial Research

Married Migrant Women in Haryana: A Pilot Study

Academic journal article Journal of Psychosocial Research

Married Migrant Women in Haryana: A Pilot Study

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

In the prosperous districts of Haryana, the preference for a male child has resulted in a skewed sex ratio Kaur, John, Palriwala, Raju & Sagar (2008). Declination in the number of girls in the society has several social implications. Consequently, there is an excess of bachelors and shortage of local brides in Haryana (Nanda, 2005). In Indian society where marriage is considered to be an arrival of social adulthood for an individual, the scenario of non marriage becomes a serious issue for them (Kaur, 2008). Among the richest states like Haryana in India, sex-selective abortions are very common and also apply to welleducated women, for whom the girls' deficit is even twice as high as for illiterate women. So, illiteracy and poverty are not the only factors, but some socio cultural factors involved.

Consequently, the incidence of bachelorhood (referred to as celibacy by some demographers) in the north India - 7 per cent in the age group 45-54 in 1911 (Bhat and Halli 1999) in contrast to 3 per cent in the south. This indicates the presence of a substantial higher number of unmarried men in the north India. Almost same status of unmarried men has been documented by a large number of ethnographic studies in north India (Darling (1925), Parry (1979) and Jeffery and Jeffery (1997) Recently, Kaur (2008) also reported that men in the states of Haryana and Punjab are experiencing nearly twenty percent deficit of marriageable women.

UNICEF (2007) has warned that "the alarming decline in the child sex-ratio is likely to result in more girls being married at a younger age, more girls dropping out of education, increased mortality as a result of early child bearing and an associate increase in acts of violence against girls and women such as rape, abduction, trafficking and forced polyandry". In the 'Working Group on the Girl Child' (2007) report also documented that over the next 20 years, in several parts of China and India there will be about 12-15 percent excess of young men leading to an obvious bride shortage: between 2015 and 2030 there will be 25 million men in China who will have no hope of finding a wife. Another United Nations Population Fund (2007) report warns that female deficit in the marriageable age (20-49) is set to touch 25 million by the year 2030.

Demographers and sociologists have remarked how the shortage of women will impose negatively on men who are at the bottom rung. The men who are at the risk of remaining unmarried face several problems like lack of land, education, job, and also get tinged by scandal, over age and so forth (Kaur, 2004). Society has developed a number of coping mechanisms for these circumstances like -Involuntary bachelorhood, fraternal polyandry and most importantly the import of cross region brides (Kaur, 2008) in which the need for women (for productive and reproductive purposes) is being addressed through unconventional marriages (Fan and Huang, 1998). As a result, Haryanvi men pay touts to bring women to marry them and make them work on their farms (Agal, 2006). These girls mainly hail from the poverty stricken tribal belt of Assam, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar and Orissa (Nanda, 2005).

Besides Haryana, the cases of importing girls are also reported from Punjab, Rajasthan and western Uttar Pradesh. Nevertheless the maximum numbers of cases are from Haryana, (Yusufzai, 2006). The word "Paro" (women from the outside) is quite popular among the media: women are easily bought just like commodities with a price range between 2500 and 45,000 rupees; the younger the girl, the higher the price, An NGO committee stated.

According to UNIFEM, 45,000 "Paros" have been sold in and around Haryana (India) in 2006. moreover Shakti Vahini (NGO-2001) reported that it was 50000 Paros in 2001 in Haryana alone, which included a huge proportion of minors. Whereas according to a published article, "India's Bride Buying Country" in BBC News, there are 45,000 Paros in Haryana from the eastern tribal state of Jharkhand alone, (Agal, 2006). …

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