District Officials Stop Child Marriage After Odisha Girl Seeks Help

wcd ministry child marriages

A class VII girl of Kalahandi district in Odisha exhibited exemplary courage by preventing her parents from getting her married off to a drunkard.

She wrote to the district administration about the matter and they helped her deal with the situation.

Contents of the letter

The girl, Reeta Majhi, studies in Kathaghara Kasturba Gandhi Residential School in Thuamul Rampur. She mentioned in the letter that she didn’t want to discontinue her studies and was not ready for marriage. She also wrote that her father was an alcoholic and he had arranged her wedding with another drunkard of their locality.

Reeta also wrote that she was getting hitched during the coming Dusshera. Sadly, her mother supported the father in his decision of marrying her off.

The parents had even approached school authorities and wanted to take her home for the festival.

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Convincing parents

Kalahandi district collector Anjan Kumar Manik instructed the members of child protection unit and child welfare committee to visit Reeta’s home in Turibhejuguda. There they recorded her statement.

The officials tried to explain to her parents that child marriage was illegal. They warned them against marrying Reeta off till she attained adulthood

“The father was persuaded not to conduct the marriage of the girl as she is minor and to allow her study,” said Sailendu Sekhar Mohapatra, district child protection officer. He added that the girl’s courageous step helped them stop the child marriage.

Now, the girl can finally concentrate on her studies without the fear of marriage gripping her mind. For the same, the district administration has decided to transfer Reeta from her residential school. She will be now pursuing her studies under the Child Welfare Committee’s supervision.

Our country is blessed to have girls like Reeta Majhi who dare to stand up against injustice and speak up against what they feel is wrong.

More power to you!

Read Also: Fireflies: Delhi Slum Girls’ Crusade Against Child Marriage