However, there are some conditions that have been imposed. Firstly, the bride must be below 45 years of age. Secondly, the couple has to get the marriage registered in the district collectorate. Marriage proof issued by gram panchayats and local bodies will not be accepted.
The government stated that no other state has initiated any scheme of this kind in the past. It is expecting 1,000 widow marriages every year once the scheme starts.
According to the 2011 census, India is home to 5.6 crore. Thus, India has the largest number of widows in the world followed by China that has 5 crore widows
It all started in July when the Supreme Court asked the Centre to frame a policy to encourage widow remarriage. Inspired by the directive, the MP government handed out a monetary incentive. This was the first since widow remarriage was legalised in 1856.
The government has kept aside Rs 20 crore a year for the scheme to begin with. As per the draft, anyone willing to marry a widow aged between 18 and 45 years will get Rs 2 lakh. The proposal is ready to be sent to the finance department, after which it will be placed before the cabinet.
According to officials, the scheme will come into effect within three months
In July this year, the Supreme Court asked the Central Government to frame a scheme to promote widow remarriage to improve the lives of lakhs of widows who are ousted by their families and forced to live in penury. Their remarriage, according to the apex court, will help integrate them back into mainstream society.