Youth Challenge the Dowry System
A new generation of young indians want to stand up against the dowry system, but find it hard to tackle that social menace. Satya Naresh, Director of NKG Info Services, has taken the cause to the Internet with his "idontwantdowry " matrimonial site, which he launched in April, 2006. Satya comments: "On average there are three to four dowry deaths in a day in our country. I set up the web site to fight the problem. Of course, I also run the website to make money, but I never move away from my ideals."
For a nominal fee of Rs.500 (us$11.00), potential brides and grooms can register and host their profile on the site for six months with the expectation that no dowry demands will be made to the girl or her family. The site took off immediately with over 2,000 registrations. "We wanted to start a website that benefits society, " Naresh offers. To reach the less affluent, non- net savvy populace, for a mere us$2.25, the web site accepts contact details for insertion in its classified section.
Though mainly catering to women who cannot or who refuse to bring dowry to a match, the web site saw more prospective grooms registering than brides in the days following the launch. Prospective groom, 23-year old software professional Abhinay C., says, "From childhood I hated the idea of being 'bought' by the girl's family for a sum of money. I will continue to be part of this site to keep open my options for meeting an independent girl."
In light of the positive response, Satya says he wants to launch another site aimed at fighting the caste system. See: http://www.idontwantdowry.com
Lord Murugan's Hilltop Abode
The beloved god of tamil saivites, Lord Murugan, has many centers of great spiritual power in South India and Sri Lanka. Preeminent among them is Palani Hills, a temple dedicated to Murugan as Dandapani, the renunciate, flocked to by those doing austerities, seeking purification and spiritual advancement. The Lord now has a new web site dedicated to the lore and services related to this ancient, other-worldly, holy hill temple. With real depth, http://www.palanitemples.com brings us the history, the stories of the siddhas, meanings of symbols and more. Alongside the religious content is plenty of practical information for pilgrims on lodgings, other shrines in the environs and maps. For a touch of the sacred in your life, you can also sponsor an archana. Your name is chanted by the priests of Palani and temple prasadam mailed to you from India.
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