Rayagada: At time when focus is being given on women empowerment, still there are many tribal communities where women are being exploited in the name of customs and tradition. For instances the Dongaria Kondh of Nimayagiri hills where still girls are forcibly kidnapped to marry against their wish.

In a recent incident, a girl was dragged by the groom’s family for 12 km in public without any opposition.

According to reports, a girl of Debhapada village under Parsala panchayat was victim of this tradition. She was allegedly kidnapped by the groom, Mandari Hukai a resident of Raimala village.

Sources said, the Hukai had seen the girl a few years ago and wanted to marry her. However, the girl and her family refused his proposal. Following which on Tuesday, Hukai along with help of his family and other villagers kidnapped her and dragged her for 12 kms to reach Puiguda village from where she was take in a auto to Raimala village.

Reportedly, the wish of the girls and their families of Dongaria tribes are not taken into account. A youth of Dongaria tribe can marry the girl he wants even if the girl opposes. Later, the groom’s family give liquor, rice, sweets and rupees to the girls family and solve the issue.

Notably, the Dongaria youths generally select the girl for marriage during Shivaratri festival and RathYatra.

This custom has raised question about the so called women empowerment initiatives of the government, as even in this 20th century also such forced marriage practice continues , where the girl are treated as mere object for the satisfaction of the men.