Patna, Jan 21 (IANS) Thousands of people across Bihar formed a human chain on Sunday to protest against the social evils of child marriage and dowry.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, Union Minister Giriraj Singh and former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi along with hundreds of leaders and workers of the ruling National Democratic Alliance, including Janata Dal-United, participated.
Leaders and workers of the opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal, Congress and the Left however did not participate.
Top state officials claimed that the “world’s longest human chain” comprising of 13,660 persons was formed on the occasion. A team from the Limca Book of Records is in Bihar to record the human chain formation.
“Millions of people, including children, elderly people, housewives, students, officials, workers and others from all walks of life participated in forming the human chain from noon till 12.30 p.m.,” Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh told the media here.
According to officials, the government expected to draw 4.30 crore of the state’s 11 crore population to the event held across the state, ranging from busy national and state highways to rural roads and narrow bylanes of villages.
School students, mainly girls, shouted slogans opposing child marriage and dowry.
The programme was recorded by 40 drone cameras. A movie prepared on the occasion will be shown in 127 cinema halls across the state.
The state government had galvanised its entire machinery in preparation for the world’s longest human chain to demonstrate public support and solidarity for its campaign against child marriage and dowry.
It was probably the first event of its kind in the country as far as child marriage and dowry issues go.
Soon after launching a massive campaign against child marriage and dowry in Bihar on October 2, 2017, Nitish Kumar announced the plan to form a statewide human chain against the twin evils on January 21, 2018.
According to the national family health survey, 39.1 per cent of the child marriages in the country have been reported from Bihar. Till a few years ago, Bihar accounted for 69 per cent of the child marriages.