The village of bachelors: Why brides do not marry ‘powerless’ men here

Shri Tara Majra in the Chamu Gramsabha is a UP village of 1,000 that has not had electricity since Independence.

UP village
A woman drawing water from the only handpump in the village.

Shri Tara Majra village is a small non-descript village in Allahabad’s Bara tehsil which has earned unofficial notoriety as the ‘village of bachelors’ in the region. This is because girls refuse to marry its young men. 

Girls from not just Allahabad’s rural areas, but even from the hinterland of neighbouring districts like Pratapgarh, Kaushambi and Chitrakoot are known to refuse marriage proposals from hard working and eligible young men of the village, falling under the Chamu Gramsabha.

Eligible young men from the village cannot find brides, unless they leave the village.

The village has became infamous as a place lacking electricity and even proper water resources, thus promising a life filled with hardships for any woman who marries one of its residents. 

Located only five kilometres from Bara Tehsil headquarters, Shri Tara Majra has a population of around 1,000 - a decent number of voters.

However, the villagers here are still waiting for electricity to reach their village since Independence. 

The village has only one handpump, which the residents installed in 2002 using their own resources. Water from the only well in the village is not fit for drinking and this handpump is the only source of water for the villagers. 

Young men of this village are finding it hard to find brides as no woman wants to suffer without electricity and water. People now panic when marriage proposals are sent from Shri Tara Majra.

Television, refrigerator, fans and coolers, which some married men had received as dowry, can be found lying unused in several houses of this village. 

Many of the residents have migrated to other villages and those still living there are planning to migrate too. 

VIllager Badrilal Jaiswal says 20 marriage proposals have been turned down in the recent past.

A villager, Badrilal Jaiswal, said, “After completing his graduation, my son Mukesh has been running a shoe shop in a nearby market and earning well. A year ago, his marriage was fixed in Pratapgarh. The woman’s family was happy with the proposal. However, only a month later they broke the engagement when they came to know that there was no electricity in our village. Her mother told us that her daughter is fond of watching television.”

“More than 20 marriages have broken since the last one year,” Badrilal added. 

Another villager, Purshottam Jaiswal, said, “I faced extreme difficulty in finding brides for my three sons. Their marriages were fixed on the condition that they will not live in the village. Since the last 10 years, my sons and their families rarely visit the village. Even if they come, they stay here only for a day or two. Even our relatives avoid visiting us.”

Villager Purshottam Jaiswal says even his relatives do not come to visit.

Villagers’ pleas to MLAs, politicians and administrative officials remain unheeded.

Jaiswal said, “We have visited several MLAs and MPs who got elected from the area besides numerous officials during the last several years. However, all our pleas to provide electricity and handpumps fell on deaf ears.” 

Children at Tara Majra too are suffering. Those who attend classes at nearby government schools complained that they had to study with a lantern after dark.

Sub-divisional magistrate of Bara Rajkumar Dwivedi said,“Chamu Gramsabha and some other areas are indeed underdeveloped and suffering from water crisis. I was informed that there is some dispute in taking electricity lines to the area. The administration is providing water through tankers in such villages. The administration will definitely look into the matter and provide electricity if the villagers apply for it.”

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