14/12/2015 11:46 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

In Haryana, Bride Refuses To Marry Unless Groom Funds Education Of 11 Girls

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A ritual in Indian Hindu Wedding. Bride and groom holding hands.

Only days after a bride from Uttar Pradesh called off her marriage as the groom failed to count beyond nine, a bride in Haryana told her husband-to-be that she won't marry him unless he pledges to pay for the education of 11 needy girls.

On Friday, Poonam and Sandeep Kumar had exchanged garlands and were just about to take the pheras when Poonam asked the groom to take the pledge before the rituals continue, reported The Times of India.

Poonam told everyone that if Sandeep does not agree to the pledge that she had in mind, she would call off the wedding. The guests were naturally alarmed.

The girl from Bilawal village in Bhiwani said that she had been giving hints to her would-be husband about a resolve she would want him to take and had told him earlier that she would reveal it at the "right time".

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"It is different as nobody takes such a pledge, and certainly not on wedding day. It is challenging because I will have to be an equal partner in ensuring that the pledge is fulfilled," she said.

The girl's revelation finally made everyone happy, including the groom Sandeep. Meanwhile, the wedding guests raised their hands as witnesses to the pledge.

This comes as a boost to the 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' campaign in a state with such a skewed sex ratio. Poonam is a ostgraduate from a local government college, and has been the associate for a local social worker too.

Poonam said she had heard about the eighth phera introduced in Bhiwani by a Red Cross official some years ago. That phera was a pledge by the couple to not indulge in female foeticide.

"But I know that most campaigns rarely see success. Keeping this in mind, I wanted to do something challenging and something that will really change some lives," she told TOI.

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