"Angry Brides" game targets Indian dowry demands
By Nita Bhalla
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Anger at the practice of demanding dowries, which can lead to violence against brides, has prompted a takeoff of "Angry Birds" called "Angry Brides" that aims to highlight the illegal practice still prevalent in many South Asian countries.
Dowries -- such as jewelry, clothes, cars and money -- are traditionally given by the bride's family to the groom and his parents to ensure she is taken care of in her new home.
The custom was outlawed more than five decades ago. But it is still widely practiced, with the groom's family demanding even more money after marriage, leading to mental and physical harassment that can drive the woman to suicide.
In the worst cases, she may be murdered by her husband and his family, often in so-called "stove burnings" where she is doused in kerosene and set on fire.
"The Angry Brides game is our way of throwing a spotlight on the nuisance of dowry," said Ram Bhamidi, senior vice president and head of online marketing for Shaadi.com, a matrimonial website with two million members.
"According to a 2007 study ... there is a dowry-related death every four hours in India. We condemn this menace and have consistently run campaigns on social media to help create awareness of the issue."
The name of the app, available on the group's home page (www.facebook.com/shaadicom), is a spinoff from the globally popular "Angry Birds" game. Its home page shows a red-clad, eight-armed woman resembling a powerful female Hindu goddess.
Underneath, there is a caption: "A woman will give you strength, care and all the love you need ... NOT dowry!" Continued...