A social activist spearheading a campaign for the enactment of a law to ban discriminatory practices related to widows appealed to gram panchayats in Maharashtra on Thursday to publicise their acts of prohibiting such practices.
Pramod Zinjade, in his appeal, said some 7,000 villages have passed such resolutions through their gram sabhas, and asked these areas to declare themselves as "villages that have freed themselves from evil practices related to widows".
He said these villages must display slogans on the issue in at least five public places to create awareness and further promote the cause.
Zilla Parishad chief executive officers must take the lead and give necessary directions to gram panchayats for this move towards awareness, he added.
On May 17 this year, the Maharashtra government had asked all villages to follow the initiative of Herwad in Kolhapur district, which became the first village in the country to pass such a resolution.
The resolution had banned the practice of wiping sindoor, removing toe rings and mangalsutra, breaking bangles as part of widowhood rituals. It had also laid down that widows will not be discriminated against in religious and social functions.
Earlier this year, Zinjade had submitted an affidavit to local authorities seeking that such practices not be enforced on his wife after his death.