The Vanitha Sahaya Vani, on Thursday, launched a pre-marital counselling cell to help single women who are being pressured by their family to tie the knot or being forced into an arranged marriage. Women can either call the helpline or visit the cell located at the Police Commissioner’s Office on Infantry Road. City Police Commissioner N.S. Megharikh inaugurated the cell.
“Over the last three years, the number of unmarried women, who have approached us for counselling, has doubled,” Rani Shetty, coordinator of Vanitha Sahaya Vani, said.
A majority of the cases that the helpline has dealt with are young girls seeking help following pressure from their family to get married.
“There are youngsters who do not want to get married because someone in their family has had a traumatic experience. One girl didn’t want to get married because her elder sister had committed suicide because of dowry harassment,” Ms. Shetty said. “Recently, we managed to convince a widow from Tumakuru to not force her 21-year-old daughter to get married to a rich senior citizen. Unable to bear the pressure, the victim had escaped to Bengaluru and started working as a hotel waitress. Following a complaint, the police traced the girl …. the cops then sought help from us. We counselled both the mother and the daughter,” she added.
Several families are unable to comprehend that their daughters would rather focus on academics and career instead of getting married. “Our counsellors hope to address this generational gap between parents and their children,” she added.
With an increase in divorce rate, it is imperative that people marry for the right reasons. “If the reason for getting married is parental pressure, then chances are that the marriage will fail. We try to explain this to the parents. It is important that the youngster is able to stand on his/her own feet before being asked to marry. Often, youngsters are unable to explain this to their parents and parents are unable to explain their concerns to their wards. This is where we come in,” Ms. Shetty added.
The newly-inaugurated cell will hold pre-marital counselling sessions on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
The cell will hold counselling sessions on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.