Nameplates for social equality to ‘molkis’

Sumedha Sharma

Tribune News Service

Gurugram, November 16

“I hardly remember what it was back home. I was bought as a bride and have lived here for 45 years. I am lucky to have what an average Haryanvi matriarch has, but today it feels I have got my home in the true sense. I am happy I will die as Reena, rather than a molki (bought-one),” says Reena (64), who is among the first bought brides in the state to get her nameplate installed outside her home.

Like over 1.5 lakh other such women in the state, Reena was bought from West Bengal to be married to a man around 15 years older than her. Her husband treated her well, but this “pardeshi bahu” (outsider bride) could never get the same respect as other brides in the village.

“It may be a simple nameplate for others, but for me it’s a stamp of equality as regards my existence and identity,” she says. The unique endeavour started in Kharkadi village of Farukhnagar block by the Selfie With Daughter Foundation aims at getting social equality for such brides, including property rights. “The aim is to give such brides their due,” says Sunil Jaglan who spearheads the initiative.

“I was brought here from Gujarat 42 years ago. I am a grandmother today, but my identity is that of a molki. I don’t know what this will change, but this nameplate feels like a proof of my existence,” says Sheela (61).

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