To prevent girls from ‘straying’, Bihar panchayat bans jeans, mobiles

Story of Gopalganj

A village panchayat in Bihar has banned girls from wearing jeans and using mobile phones claiming that they increase the chances of girls “going astray”.

Confirming that such a diktat has been issued in Singha panchayat in Hathua block of the district, Hathua Block Development Officer Jitendra Kumar said the decision was taken at a general meeting of panchayat officials in which mukhiya Krishna Chaudhary and Sarpanch Vinay Kumar Shrivastav were present.

The village sarpanch said, ” We brought this motion so that the girls are saved from western influence and they are moulded into our Indian ways of life. It’ll be good.”

“According to the panchayat decision, the ban will be enforced within its jurisdiction with mutual understanding and without any coercion,” the BDO said.

Mukhiya Krishna Chaudhary said jeans, trousers, and cell phones for girls have been banned as these have “pernicious effect” on them – mentally and physically. These also increase the chance of their “going astray”.

“The ban will come into effect from January 1, 2015. We have already requested parents and guardians in our area not to buy jeans and mobile phones for girls in their families. There will be no coercion in enforcing the ban,” Chaudhary said.

There are no provisions to fine or punish if anybody flouts the ban, he added.

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