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.