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Eight Panchayats in Mathura have issued a diktat banning dowry, consumption of liquor and lavish feasts in ‘shraadhs’ and post-death rituals.

Chaudhary Govind Singh, chairman of the land development bank, who attended one of the panchayats meets on Sunday, said the initiative would not only benefit local residents and prevent them from facing additional financial burden but would also improve the social atmosphere.

He said social pressures often force people to give dowry and host lavish feasts, but then they spend years paying off the debts.

“Our efforts are to stop these wrong practices and make people aware of the reality. For example, dowry is nothing more than a bribe to the groom’s family. The priority should be to educate the girl and make her independent, instead of wasting money by spending lavishly on her wedding,” he said.

He said that residents of villages, including Aimal Patti, Singha Patti, Saunkh Dehat, Loriha Patti, Nanupatti and Bachgaon had agreed to implement the ban with immediate effect.

District panchayat representative Bharat Singh said a five-member committee will be formed in every village, which will interact with local residents and make them aware them of the myths related to these evil practices.

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