A 20-year-old tribal woman who had refused to marry as the groom came to the wedding in an inebriated state, has been felicitated by the Sambalpur district administration for her bold step.
The incident took place in May and the groom and his family were forced to return as the woman remained firm in her decision not to marry the drunk man, district officials said.
Mamata Bhoi, who hails from Gobardhan Badmal village under Jujumura block of the district, told the gathering that she had never imagined that she would become an inspiration for many after her act.
Speaking at the programme held on Wednesday, Mamata said "When I saw the man in an inebriated condition at the wedding mandap, I immediately took the decision not to marry him. The man was even unable to stand as he was heavily drunk. I realised that I could not lead a happy life with such a man ... I instantly took the decision and I dont think that I have done anything wrong".
Though her decision had surprised her poor family, they stood by her, Mamatas aunt Subasini Dharua said.
Mamata's wedding has now been fixed with a man from Brajarajnagar, she said.
"By refusing to marry a drunkard, Mamata gave a message to all the girls that they should be very particular while selecting their spouse. She also gave the message to the all the girls that their life would be hell if they get married to drunkard, said Sambalpur SP, Sanjeev Arora.
She was felicitated in the presence of Arora, Sambalpur collector Subham Saxena on International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
At the programme, which was organised by the district administration jointly with the department of social security and empowerment of persons with disabilities and the excise department, the woman was presented a shawl, a citation and Rs 10,000.