"women's lives are destroyed due to alcohol abuse by the husband."
In a village in Gujarat, they follow a practice where grooms cannot get married if they drink alcohol.
The groom and his male family members are checked to see if they have consumed alcohol before the wedding takes place. This practice takes place in the village of Piyaj.
The men on the groom’s side of the family undergo a breathalyser test during the Baraat procession.
Piyaj is led by the Thakor community who deploy around 25 people to run the tests at the time of arranging the marriage, the engagement and on the day of the wedding.
If they find that the groom has consumed alcohol on his wedding day then he cannot get married.
He also cannot go through with his marriage if he is drunk during the pre-wedding festivities. His family subsequently pay a Rs. 1 Lakh (£1,100) fine to the bride’s family.
The practice came to fruition in 2015 after 15 men died as a result of alcohol abuse. All of them were under the age of 20.
It was also due to the lives of many women being ruined as a result of her husband’s constant drinking.
Even the younger male members of the groom’s family started to become alcoholics. Seeing this, the village leaders decided to impose an alcohol check on the groom and the male members of his family.
Rameshji Thakor, one of the village leaders, explained:
“We have witnessed many cases where the women’s lives are destroyed due to alcohol abuse by the husband.
“So the village elders have decided to use this trick to do a background check of the groom before the wedding.”
He went on to say that it has been positive as alcohol consumption has been significantly reduced.
Mr Thakor said that before the step was imposed, even teenagers were drinking heavily.
The unique wedding tradition has even led to some men quitting drinking completely over fears they will never be able to find a wife.
According to the village leader, they had spoken to the police about the alcohol issue but they did not take action.
Sometimes, raids were conducted on liquor shops, however, owners would receive a tip-off, leading to them closing their businesses and fleeing.
Mr Thakor alleged that the lack of police action is down to their connections with gangs operating in Piyaj.
One villager told Times Now News: “We had to find a way out of it.
“So instead of depending on the police we had started carrying out breathalyser test before fixing marriage and on the wedding day.”
As part of the tradition, village elders have formed groups to keep an eye on the groom and his family to ensure that they do not drink alcohol.