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10 December 2023

Online anti-dowry game takes facebook by storm

By Joseph George

Are Indians tired of dowry? If the reaction to an online facebook app is anything to go by, they definitely are. The game, a poor takeoff of 'Angry Birds' has so far managed to attract the “like” of some 274,685 facebook users.

Initiated by the online matchmaking portal Shaadi.com the game is aimed at expressing anger at the age-old practice of demanding money for marrying a girl. The custom of a bride bringing along considerable wealth to her newly wed household dates back to years before the code of Hammurabi. Although the practice was banned following India’s independence, it continues to prevail among majority of the households in India and the neighbouring countries.

The game – a free application was posted by Shaadi.com on its facebook page on January 7. The post has received about 456 likes and about 22 comments since, mostly from men. The game has several levels. In the first level a player has to select a type of shoe to hit one of the three grooms – an engineer, a doctor and a pilot – who escape the throw while demanding dowries. Every successful hit will earn the player points that is added to an ‘anti-dowry fund’.

In a statement Shaadi.com said, “Shaadi.com has always believed that marriage is an institution of love, where there is a place for togetherness, mutual understanding, family values and emotional support but not for dowry!”

Quoting India's National Crime Records Bureau in 2010, it said about 8,391 women died in dowry-related deaths. "The Angry Brides game is our way of throwing a spotlight on the nuisance of dowry."

"According to a 2007 study,  there is a dowry-related death every four hours in India. We condemn this menace and have consistently run campaigns on social media to help create awareness of the issue."