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Anti~Dowry Campaign

Dowry is the practice of giving money and jewelry on a daughter’s marriage to the husband and his family. Even poor families are forced by social pressure to pay dowries for their daughters on their marriage.

How BAPS Helps

BAPS has started a war against this evil practice. In various public assemblies and in private gatherings, Pujya Pramukh Swami Maharaj has spoken against dowry. He particularly addresses the in-laws to whose house the newly married girl goes. The girl, he says, "should be treated as a daughter. She is not a commodity. The in-laws should not pressurize their son to ask for dowry. This practice in not at all a civilized custom."

Pledge Against Taking Dowry
To save women against dowry, BAPS encourages youths and young men to pledge against accepting dowry. The results have been remarkable.

  • On 6th December 1989, Bharuch, India, some 20,000 men, including Minister for the State of Gujarat – Mr. Harisinh Mahida, pledged against dowry.
  • In 1990 during a 5-day International Youth Convention held at Vidyanagar, India, 21,000 youths pledged that they would not accept dowry.

Every year many more men take pledges against dowry at seminars and local conventions organized by BAPS.

Dowry-Free Mass Marriages
BAPS organizes mass marriages to dispel the social evil of dowry and help the poor meet the cost of marriage. Under a single canopy couples get married in the traditional Vedic manner. These mass marriages have helped hundreds of young couples and their families.

Main Dowry-free Mass Marriages organized by BAPS:



Couples Married

7th Dec. 1995

Amrut Mahotsav Festival in Mumbai, India

85 couples

19th Aug. 1995

First Indian Dowry-free Mass Marriage in London – Inauguration of Sri Swaminarayan Mandir, London

11 couples

8th Dec. 1994

Mehsana, South Gujarat

20 couples

17th, 18th, 19th Nov. 1992

Gandhinagar, India – Brahmaswarup Yogiji Maharaj Centenary Celebrations.

150 couples

23rd Nov. 1990

Sarangpur, Gujarat, India

46 couples

5th Dec. 1989

Bharuch, India

14 couples

27th Nov. 1987

Mumbai, India

19 couples

24th Nov. 1985

Amdavad – Bicentenary Celebrations of Aksharbrahman Gunatitanand Swami.

26 couples

Against Infanticide
More than 170 years ago, Bhagwan Swaminarayan abolished the practice of ‘dudhpiti’ or female infanticide as part of his mission to uplift society.

Today, Pujya Pramukh Swami Maharaj preaches against the new form of dudhpiti. Recent studies report that couples are increasingly using ultrasound scanners or sonography and other gender tests to learn the gender of their offspring in the first few weeks of pregnancy. If the child is not of the gender they desire, abortion is performed. In 1997, India reported 6 million abortions, of which 70% fetuses were female. In Mumbai, a clinic performed 8,000 abortions, 7,999 were of girls.

"It (Abortion) is dudhpiti," says Swamishri, "a form of killing and murdering. No one has the right to kill another individual, whether born or unborn."

© 1999, Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, Swaminarayan Aksharpith