Mehndi: Biometrics put mehndi bar on brides | India News

KOLKATA: Mehndi might be an intrinsic part of wedding rituals, but this ubiquitous age-old practice is tripping up new-age tech, and how! Mehndi-dyed palms, it seems, are not suitable for biometric registration, now a must to register marriages in Bengal.
Couples intending to tie the knot in Bengal must get their thumb impressions recorded twice – first at the registrar’s office while submitting an application and again a month later during the marriage registration, which happens mostly on the wedding day.Registrars have flagged several instances in the past month when they have struggled to capture the thumb impression ofbrides and witnesses because of the mehndi on the fingertips. They are now advising couples to leave out thumb tips while applying mehndi on their palms.
“After biometric registration was rolled out, we received a notice that said mehendi, alta or sindoor on the fingertips, especially on the left thumb, would affect the recording of fingerprints. That is why I am specifically asking all my clients to avoid applying mehndi on the left thumb,” said a Dum Dum-based registrar. She said that in one recent wedding, one of the witnesses had to be changed at the last moment.
Naveen Kumar and Anju Chaudhary got married on December 7 but their marriage registration had to be pushed to January-end. “Since there was bridal mehndi on my wife’s hands and fingertips, the registrar told us that recording of fingerprints on the biometric system could get affected and it would be best to do the registry when the colour has faded away,” said Kumar.
Debarati Roy Chowdhury, whose wedding with Subhajit Chanda took place on November 26, said their marriage registrar had advised her not to apply mehendi on the hands as it could delay the process of registration. “But I wanted mehndi on my hands on the most important day of my life. So, I applied mehndi on my palms and fingers but left out the fingertips. It was a great relief when the biometric recording was glitch-free,” said Roy Chowdhury.
Mehndi artist Suchanda Banerjee said ever since biometric registration was rolled out in Bengal last month, she had been leaving the left thumb tip empty for brides whose registries were yet to be conducted.

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