GUJARAT, India, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- A village in India imposed a ban on unmarried women and minor girls from owning cell phones.
Women found in violation of this ban will be fined about $30 while the person who reported the offense will receive a reward of almost $3.
"Why do girls need cell phone? Internet is a waste of time and money for a middle-class community like us. Girls should better utilise their time for study and other works," village leader Devshi Vankar told Hindustan Times.
Villagers in Suraj reportedly agreed with the decision, as cell phones were viewed as tools used by young people to leave their homes and elope.
Girls are allowed to use cell phones at home with the supervision of their parents and women attending college are completely exempt from the ban.
"College girls are mature enough to differentiate between good and bad. Further, they also need mobile phone to stay connected with their parents as colleges are located in nearby cities not in our village," Vankar told the Indian Express.
Vankar said banning young girls from using mobile phones would protect them from being distracted in class and being harassed by men on messaging apps.
"Everyone knows what happens in today's world due to mobile phones. This is Kalyug. This is an era of Whatsapp, where people secretly talk with each other. We have to save girls from those who acquire their number and harass them or try to lure these innocent girls," he said.