Girls in the Kanjarbhat community in Maharashtra are still being subjected to the age-old tradition of virginity tests. Time and again, the daughters of this village are demanded by their grooms to prove their purity by bleeding on their first night of sex. Priyanka, co-founder of the WhatsApp group,'stop the V ritual' said to a leading newspaper, "This is nothing but sheer male chauvinist attitude towards women. We have to fight against it. We know it's going to be hard. My family supports me but they are also worried."
Six months ago, Priyanka Tamaichekar (26) and Siddhant Indrekar (21) created a WhatsApp group to warn girls, keep the youth on their toes and gather support to take legal action. "It's a complete violation of a couple's right to privacy and the way it is done is very crude and traumatising. They are forced to consummate the marriage with many people sitting outside the room, and the groom is often given alcohol and shown pornography in order to 'educate' him," said Siddhant. "The next day he is called for a ceremony and is asked in very derogatory terms to answer if his bride was pure or impure."
As one of the educated girls in the community, Priyanka, is facing a large backlash for her movement, "Parents are now forcing girls to opt out of the WhatsApp group and snap ties with us." As the siblings fight everyone in the community to stop this practice, they are often attacked by wedding guests who think they are withholding a long-standing tradition. They hope that the attention this practice has gathered nation-wide will help reduce its recurrence.
Images: TOI, Shutterstock
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