Inculcating a stricter environment against dowry, the Kerala government has issued a circular which directs all its male employees to sign an undertaking form declaring that they will not promote or accept dowry upon marriage. The declaration form has to be submitted to their heads of department within one month of marriage. It also needs to be signed by the wife, father and father-in-law of the employee.
The circular, dated July 16, was issued by the Women and Child Development Department which is in charge of administrating and coordinating work related to dowry prohibition throughout the State.
The State Women and Child Development Director, who is also the Chief Dowry Prohibition Officer as per the Kerala Dowry Prohibition (Amendment) Rules, 2021, has asked the heads of departments to obtain and maintain declarations from government employees that they have not asked for, taken, or exhorted the receipt of dowry.
All the Heads of the Department including private, autonomous bodies and other institutions have been directed to obtain the aforementioned declaration form.
The heads of department have also been asked to compile a report on all declarations submitted, once in six months, before April 10 and October 10 every year, to the District Dowry Prohibition Officer (District Women and Child Development Officer) of the district concerned.
The District Dowry Prohibition Officer further has to submit a report of departments that have not furnished the declarations before April 15 and October 15 every year. This is mandatory as per the Act and the Rules says the circular.
Along with this, the government has decided to observe November 26 as Dowry Prohibition Day in the State. All students in high schools, higher secondary and vocational higher secondary schools, and colleges (technical, non-technical and so on) and other educational institutions in the State should take a pledge not to give or take dowry in a general assembly at the institution on Dowry Prohibition Day.
Earlier this month, Kerala's Governor Arif Mohammad Khan had mentioned that students must sign a bond while taking admission to colleges and before receiving their college degree declaring they would not accept dowry.
Governor Khan made the suggestion at a meeting held with a group of vice-chancellors of universities in Kochi on July 16.