I found this interesting article online today, about the struggle of a young girl who is trying to promote acceptance of inter caste marriages as part of her education, and is using an unique way to go about this.
You can read the entire article at Accpetance for Inter Religion Marriages.
One of the origami cranes with the message of acceptance on the bottom of the wings is shown above. Credit: Shivani Pal
Petition to the government
She knows spreading the message is not enough, so she is also petitioning the government to expand its current incentive scheme for inter-caste marriage. Shivani started a Change.org petition addressed to government officials from the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
“I was very happy, very surprised that the government has recognized this problem and has taken action,” she says. “I ask that they spread it.”
She wants incentives to be available to inter-religion marriages, marriages between general categories, not just scheduled castes, and include a programme with benefits to parents, such as a reward or a certificate, since they are the ones who need to be persuaded the most.
Fifty-eight people have signed the online petition so far. Manish Garg from Bangalore commented on the page for the petition: “Love knows no boundaries. Every human has the right to love and be loved. This is a good initiative to promote the ‘right to love’.”
Others shared the same opinion. Ravichandra B commented: “Inter-caste proves that we can live in unity and be free despite of the various castes and creeds in their society. They show how love and respect creates a free and happy generation.”
Not an easy sailing
Shivani has struggled to scale up the size of the project since she only works with close friends and family to make the origami cranes.
With a full time job, she only has time on the weekends to devote to the project. She knows the model is not sustainable right now, and that is why she would like to see the restaurants that participate to eventually have their employees make the cranes.
“I’m very clear, whether my marriage happens or not, this project has to take a big, big life of it’s own,” she says.
She remains optimistic about changing cultural attitudes.
“Times are changing,” she says. “It will take another century at least for the whole mindset to go. Caste will be there, caste will not disappear, but this discrimination will go.”