First of its kind: This Governor is observing a fast to create awareness against Dowry!

In an unprecedented fashion, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan has been observing a fast at his official residence Raj Bhavan in Thiruvananthapuram. Such events of fasting from a Governor are atypical and Khan's hunger strike has drawn major attention from across the country. He has been observing a fast with the aim of creating social awareness against the evil practice of Dowry. 

The state of Kerala has been witnessing shocking cases of dowry-related deaths for the past few weeks, which exhumed how the evil practice is pervasive in the state and among the families. The deaths had disheartened across and beyond the borders. As these events had brought to light that the evil practice is pushing women into the abyss, the state has been taking measures to abolish dowry. 

With the view of creating awareness against dowry, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan has on Wednesday begun a day-long fast at the Raj Bhavan. His fast has begun at 8 am on Wednesday and will end at 6 pm.  In what has become the first time in Kerala's history that a Governor is fasting for a social cause, Arif Mohammed Khan's hunger strike has come in response to a call issued by various Gandhian organizations. 

These organizations are attempting to create awareness against the custom of taking and receiving dowry and to end atrocities against women. While the Governor is observing the fast at Raj Bhavan currently, he will take part in the fasting and prayer meeting organized at the Gandhi Bhavan in Thiruvananthapuram at 4.30 pm on Wednesday, nearly two hours ahead of ending his fast. 

The fasting at the Gandhi Bhavan would see several Gandhians taking part in it under the aegis of the Gandhi Smaraka Nidhi and other such outfits. The Gandhian organizations had said that the fasting programme aims at ending atrocities against women and addressing the need to make Kerala a safe place for them. On Tuesday evening, Khan issued a video message in which he said dowry is a grave injustice and ignominy to the dignity of women, whose contributions to Kerala's growth are widely known and acknowledged. 

It must be noted that Khan had made an emotional appeal to women last month to say no to dowry when such a thing was demanded during the time of marriages and he had registered his willingness to get involved in any organized voluntary movement to create awareness against the evil practice. Recently, 24-year-old Vismaya has committed suicide after her husband Kiran Kumar had tortured and harassed her over dowry. Kiran Kumar was later arrested and Vismaya's death had exhumed the stumbling state of women's livelihood in the state and how dowry has been haunting them.