Inter-caste marriages show upward trend in Telangana

Inter-caste marriages in Telangana have taken off, with 210 couples applying for the scheme in 2017 as against 170 the previous year. Each couple gets ₹50,000 as incentive from the State under the scheme.

This is in addition to ₹2.5 lakh incentive announced by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, which provides the amount if one of them is dalit. The figure is an improvement from previous years, when few such marriages took place. In 2011, the number of inter-caste marriages was a meagre 54; it increased to 87 in 2012.

The number of inter-caste marriages that got State support were 105, 97 and 110 in 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively. In 2011, the State increased incentive for inter-caste marriages from ₹10,000 to ₹50,000.

Here, incentives were bagged by 47% couples where one spouse was BC and the other dalit. Nearly 14% of the marriages were Scheduled Caste men and women marrying Scheduled Tribe men and women. The number of Other Caste-Dalit marriages were only 3% of the total figure. Across India, just five couples took the Central incentive in 2014-15, followed by 72 the next year. In 2016-17, the Centre approved 45 marriages. In 2017-18, the Ministry received 789 applications, of which 152 were from Telangana.

Few people apply for inter-caste marriage incentive because of stipulated rules, officials said. The schemes insist that the couple should marry under Hindu Marriages Act-1955 to be eligible for the incentive. In Centre’s scheme, a recommendation letter from MLA, MP or Collector is mandatory. “Many couples who apply for the incentive are turned down as they don’t have the letters,” said B. Vijaybhaskar, additional secretary, Ministry of Social Justice, which provides incentive under Dr. Ambedkar Scheme for Social Integration.

As the Centre relaxed eligibility criteria for inter-caste marriages by dismissing higher income limit, dalit rights bodies have urged the State to increase it to ₹1.5 lakh.

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Printable version | Sep 11, 2021 11:34:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/inter-caste-marriages-show-upward-trend-in-telangana/article22341839.ece

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