Dalit bride arrives on elephant at her pre-wedding celebrations
Years ago, Natu Parmar could not fulfil his dream of arriving on a horse at his marriage due to the fear of negative reaction from the upper castes people of his village. He set a perfect example of women’s empowerment by making his daughter sit not on a horse but on an elephant during her wedding procession.
This Friday, he not just fulfilled his promise but went one step further by making his 23-year-old daughter Bharti take out her pre-wedding procession sitting on an elephant. This procession was a strong message to society.
The elephant, decorated with vibrant colours, was called from Ahmedabad. The animal had banners that read ‘Let the child teach’ and ‘Give rights to the daughter’. There was also a photo of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar that went on to give the message of equal rights to all irrespective of caste and gender.
Where even today, an FIR is registered every month for a pre-wedding procession being taken out by a Dalit, we can only wonder what would be the situation two decades ago? At the time of his marriage, Natu Parmar was refused by the elders from taking out the procession and that is when decided that he would not allow this to happen to his children.
Parmar was earlier in the news when for staging a protest at the collector’s office with a cow carcass while opposing the 2016 Una flogging incident. He has an NGO called Navnirman Trust which works for the cause of Dalits and the service of sick cows. The trust also has a museum in which the plastic consumed by the cows has been kept, so that by reducing the use of plastic, we can give the message of protecting the cows.
Bharti is currently working as a general staff nurse in Limdi General Hospital with a degree in Nursing and Midwifery. Parmar has two sons aged 19 and 21 years, who like their elder sister, are pursuing a course in nursing. “The boys have got their mother’s name written in their school records instead of their father’s, to give the message of women empowerment,” said Parmar.
Bharti’s in-laws are also aware of Parmar’s love for Bharti and his elaborate statement. Parmar said, “Police permission is required to use the elephant but no police protection was taken at the event. We want to give a message to the Dalit society to not be afraid of anyone as all of us are equal and laws are there to protect us. If the people cannot live freely even after 75 years of independence, when can we claim their rights?
Courtesy : Indiatvnews
Note: This news piece was originally published in indiatvnews.com and used purely for non-profit/non-commercial purposes exclusively for Human Rights.