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Inspired by ‘sharab-bandi’ campaigns, Rajput brides are saying ‘No’ to liquor now

Udaipur : Young brides are becoming the agents of change in the rural areas of Udaipur. Specially girls from Rajput community, a class for which alcohol have been an integral part of their social customs and rituals, are getting bolder and firmly standing against serving and consumption of liquor in their wedding ceremonies. A week ago, Santosh alias Pushpa Kanwar daughter of Kishan Singh at Vadabavdi village in Jawad gram panchayat of Mavli block had stood against the serving of alcohol for her wedding reception and other rituals, held on  Akha Teej. The wedding invitation too had clearly mentioned about  ‘sharab-bandi’ and prohibition on ‘Pehravani’ i.e  gifting clothes to the groom’s family members and relatives. 

Another girl from the same village Santosh daughter of RamSingh  Kitawat too followed the suit and insisted for an ‘alcohol free’ wedding that was even agreeable to the groom’s party.Santosh tied knot with Dharmendra Singh from Bamniya  village in a grand ceremony, however, instead of liquor, soft drinks, sharbat were served to the guests. ” My daughter insisted on two conditions- no alcohol and doing away with ‘Pehrawani’  We conveyed her desire to the boy’s people and they happily agreed” the bride’s father informed. 

Alcohol and meat are considered necessary items in any Rajput wedding reception,however, gradually with time families have been shifting from the norms. ” Arranging for liquor and meat for a baarat of  100 people costs around 1 lakh  to 2 lakh rupees. This is a financial burden on the girl’s side and they have to take much pain to arrange  money. With changing time and mindset, families are becoming more understanding and agreeing mutually to do away with age old customs” says Bhupendra Singh Rathore, an activist. 

In Banswara and Dungarpur, the ‘pehravani’ custom has been given up by the Rajput community entirely.” Earlier Pehravani had been a costly affair for the bride’s side because they had to gift clothes to the extended family of the groom. But now, the custom has been limited to gifting clothes just to the immediate family members” informs Pushpendra Singh Chouhan, a businessman.

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