Indian Women Gives Bats At Wedding To Warn Off 'Abusive' Husbands
Abusive husbands may now be put back in line with the latest moves at a mass Indian wedding.
Hundreds of brides at the large gathering of newly-wedded couples were given wooden bats, and urged to use them, if their husbands turn on them.
The paddles, which measure about 40cm in length, and more traditionally used for laundry, have messages such as "for use against drunkards" written on them.
It's done in an effort to curb domestic abuse - according to the state minister of Madhya Pradesh, Gopal Bhargava.
The state lies in between New Delhi and Mumbai in central India.
Women are encouraged to try and reason with their husbands first, however should that not work out, then the paddles, commonly used to beat the dirt out of clothes, should be allowed to 'do the talking'.
Credit: Hindustan Times
Mr Bhargava posted pictures of the bat-wielding brides on his Facebook page.
He told the AFP news agency that he introduced the bats after growing concern about increasing numbers of rural Indian women who faced abuse from alcoholic husbands.
Bhargava said: "Women say whenever their husbands get drunk they become violent. Their savings are taken away and splurged on liquor.
"There is not intent to provoke women or instigate them to violence but the bat is to prevent violence."
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The state minister said that he has ordered 10,000 bats in total, with around 700 receiving them this weekend at a mass marriage ceremony in Garhakota.
The idea behind the weddings, in India, is to help couples who cannot afford an individual wedding. They can tie the know alongside others to help save the costs.
The average Indian, according to 2013 statistics earned $616 per year (£477), with many lower-class weddings costing an estimated $1,556 (£1,205) - around three times the average annual salary.
A traditional Indian wedding will last for three days. The first day involves a priest at the couple's home with the bride and groom, the bridal party and close relatives.
The second day is for the bridge and her friends - this is when the Henna is done on the hands and feet. In the evening there's the big part with the couple's families coming together for a meal and a dance.
Finally, the third day, the main ceremony takes, cocktail hour and reception takes place.
The local media claimed it was a clever move by Bhargava to help gain support ahead of the state elections next year.
Featured Image Credit: Hindustan Times