The conversations of life

10,000 wooden bats have been gifted to brides in India. Why?

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Indian state minister Gopal Bhargava donated the bats – which are traditionally used to beat clothes in laundries – to raise awareness of domestic violence and alcohol abuse in the country.

Almost 700 brides received the bats – which boast messages such as ‘For beating drunkards’ and ‘Police won’t intervene’ – at a mass wedding organised by the government last week, with nearly 10,000 planned for distribution.

The minister reportedly told the brides to try reasoning with their husbands first, but “let the wooden paddles do the talking” if words don’t work.

It sounds like a crazy idea – but Mr Bhargava hopes the initiative will highlight the violence and abuse facing many rural women.

Many Indian states have cracked down on liquor sales in recent years to stop alcohol-related violence, with Tamil Nadu’s government re-elected last year after promising to introduce prohibition.

But if it works, we’re all in favour.

If you need support for domestic violence, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or MensLine Australia on 1300 78 99 78.

Lauren Broomham

Lauren is a journalist for villages.com.au, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.


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