The founder of Indian constitution Dr. B.R. Ambedkar described Indian caste system as an ‘evil practice based on graded inequality’ that separated human beings in the name of culture and religion. Needless to say, ever since the caste system was formed in India since the age of ancient times, inter-caste marriages were regarded a ‘sin’ by the society. When couples marry out of love, outside their caste lines, their families often react violently and withdraw social/financial support to discourage them.
In the past, many couples were brutally murdered by the family members, a practice that was later termed as ‘Honour killing’. The rising number of Honour killings in India caused the government to encourage inter-caste marriages. This way, the authorities hoped to eliminate caste-based prejudices and discrimination. For brave couples that break social taboos, Raje government launched Dr Savita Ben Ambedkar Inter Caste Marriage Scheme to provide them with financial support.
Many Couples have Received Inter Caste Marriage Benefits in Rajasthan
Until 2008, the state government provided an incentive of Rs 50,000 to the married couples. The statistics revealed that the authorities disbursed Rs. 44.80 lakh to 57 couples who married outside their castes. The next year, the numbers went up to 103 and total Rs 51.50 lakhs were disbursed.
From 2010 to 2011, total 100 beneficiaries claimed Rs 50 lakh (Rs 50,000 each) from this scheme. Likewise, in 2011-2012, 130 couples claimed Rs 87.50 lakh. These numbers raised up to 175 the following year. Seeing that many couples were fascinated by the idea, Rajasthan government increased the incentives to Rs 5 lakh per couple (Rs 2.5 per person) in 2013.
Thereafter, the number of beneficiaries significantly rose an year after. It was not just improved incentives, but changing ideologies that contributed to this change. Since then, 261 beneficiaries have received Rs 426 lakh in 2013-2014. The next year, Rs 388 lakh were disbursed to 88 couples in Rajasthan.
However, it came to government’s notice that many marriages dissolved after the couples claimed the money. This prompted the government to set strict rules for discouraging ‘fraud marriages’.
Who All can Benefit from this Scheme and How You can Claim this Amount?
In 2014, the government set stringent rules for caste-based marriages. According to the new rules:
- Only couples up to 35 years will be offered benefits under Dr Savita Ben Ambedkar Scheme.
- Rs 2.5 lakhs will be deposited to the couple’s joint account within the first year of marriage. This money can be withdraw for purchasing household gifts. The remaining amount will be kept as ‘fixed deposits’ that can be withdrawn after 8 years of marriage. This move ensured that the marriages are still on.
- The new rules discouraged polygamy and divorce. The couple won’t get any money if the marriage dissolves within 8 years.
- The elderly couples who don’t have kids and the widows/widowers whose spouses died due to natural causes are entitled to apply under this scheme.
- If one of the partner is found dead under mysterious circumstances, the money will not be dispersed.
Thus, the new and improved scheme ensures that only genuine lovers will get the benefits of Dr Savita Ben Ambedkar Inter-Caste Marriage scheme. Hopefully this would discourage rigid caste-based ideologies of the people.