Thiruvananthapuram: At a time when those marrying outside their caste and religion are facing ostracism and threats in several parts of the country, the Kerala government is gearing up to open ''safe homes'' to ensure them a secure accommodation.
The Department of Social Justice has unveiled the unique initiative to open such safe facilities in all districts.
Social Justice Minister K K Shailaja said preliminary steps have begun to set up ''safe homes'', where such couples can stay up to one year after marriage.
The objective is to ensure security for them, the minister told the state Assembly, saying the initiative was being implemented with the support of voluntary organisations.
The Department was already giving financial assistance of Rs 30,000 to such couples for self-employment if they were in the general category and had an annual income of less than Rs one lakh, she said.
At the same time, if one of them belonged to the scheduled caste community, they were given an assistance of Rs 75,000.
Inter-religious couples were included in the category deserving special consideration during the time of transfer in government departments, the minister said adding there is no law at present to give them job reservation.
The incidents of social exclusion and attacks against inter-caste or inter-religious couples have been reported in many parts of the country in recent times.
In a shocking incident, a 23-year old Dalit Christian man was abducted and killed allegedly by the relatives of his upper caste wife in Kottayam district of Kerala in 2018.