Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, Sushil Kumar Modi, on Sunday thanked the people of Bihar for participating and forming the largest human chain against child marriage and dowry practices.

Earlier in the day, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar shared a message on Twitter, saying that collective effort is required to eliminate practices of dowry and child marriage in the country and a human chain event will be organised to to show our commitment towards the cause. (Translated from Hindi)

Top state officials claimed that a team of the Limca Book of Records is in Bihar to record the human chain formation.

“Millions of people, including children, elderly people, housewives, students, officials, workers and others from all walks of life participated in forming the human chain from noon till 12.30 p.m.,” Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh had told the media here earlier.

According to officials, the government expected to draw 4.30 crore of the state’s 11 crore population to the event held across the state, ranging from busy national and state highways to rural roads and narrow bylanes of villages.

School students, mainly girls, shouted slogans opposing child marriage and dowry.

The programme was recorded by 40 drone cameras. A movie on the issue will be shown in 127 cinema halls across the state.

The state government had galvanised its entire machinery in preparation for the world’s longest human chain to demonstrate public support and solidarity for its campaign against child marriage and dowry.

It was probably the first event of its kind in the country as far as child marriage and dowry issues go.

Soon after launching a massive campaign against child marriage and dowry in Bihar on October 2, 2017, Nitish Kumar announced the plan to form a statewide human chain against the twin evils on January 21, 2018.

According to the national family health survey, 39.1 per cent of the child marriages in the country have been reported from Bihar. Till a few years ago, Bihar accounted for 69 per cent of the child marriages.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, Union Minister Giriraj Singh and former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi along with hundreds of leaders and workers of the ruling National Democratic Alliance, including Janata Dal-United, participated.

Leaders and workers of the opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal, Congress and the Left, however, did not participate.

(With agency inputs)