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Shillong News | SHILLONG, August 30, 2018

Men in Meghalaya now cannot get away with abandoning their wives. The state government has made it mandatory for married couples to furnish marriage certificates for all official purposes.

The announcement was made in a letter written by the state’s Excise, Registration, Taxation and Stamps Department to Michael N Syiem, who is the convener of a group called Maitshaphrang.

The letter said all the government departments are mandated to ensure that couples are made to submit marriage certificates for official purposes.

The certificates will make it easier for abandoned women to fight for the maintenance of their children. Also, a man, who has abandoned his family and is not taking care of the maintenance of his children, will not get government jobs and other government benefits.

The state has a large number of single mothers. Following abandonment, most men usually do not offer any financial support to their families. Some go to live with other women.

In a memorandum to the chief minister, Syiem had pointed out that the abandonment of families by husbands caused a high rate of school dropouts and juvenile crimes. He urged the CM to ensure the implementation of the Meghalaya Compulsory Registration of Marriage Act, 2012.

Agnes Kharshiing, who is a leader of Shillong-based Civil Society Women’s Organisation, described it as a “good move” by the government.

“The abandonment of families by husbands is very common in our society, badly affecting women and children. Many abandoned families are struggling for maintenance and as such, women are forced to go and work from house to house for sustenance and be able to send their children to school. Hopefully, it (marriage certificate) will curb abandonment,” Agnes added.

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With TNIE inputs

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