#Issues

Two Karnataka Teens Set To Be Child Brides Saved

wcd ministry child marriages

In many places, even today, the concept of child marriage is still prevalent. Luckily, two 17-year-old girls from Karnataka, who were being pressured by their respective parents to get married, were saved due to the help of an anonymous letter and man named Govardhan respectively, reported TOI.

Man aided minor’s safety

The two minor girls, who were eager to study, were being forced by their respective families to get married soon after their Class XII exams. However, a fortunate occurrence led the two girls to Makkala Sahayavani, a social welfare organization run by Parihara. The organisation has been working with Bengaluru police for 25 years.

In April, one girl escaped from her home in north Karnataka. She got down at Yeshwantpur bus station with her marksheets and degree certificates. She hoped to secure admission in a city college. The helpful man, Govardhan, an electrician, noticed her standing alone.

Govardhan noticed that she was getting undue attention from some boys loitering around the bus stand. He helped her, assuring her safety. The girl carried all her documents, determined to not return to her parents. Rani Shetty, in charge of Parihara, said that until the girl turns 18 in a few months, the Child Welfare Committee will take care of her.

Anonymous letter to social welfare organisation

In the second girl’s case, last month, staff members at Makkala Sahayavani organisation received an anonymous letter containing a photocopy of a wedding invitation card and the birth certificate of the bride-to-be. The wedding date was set for May 13.

The organisation contacted the parents and met them. The father was a truck driver and the family poor. Though the parents weren’t even remotely aware of the Pocso Act, they were aware about the moral incorrectness of child marriages.

“They expected her to perform badly in the exams and wanted to rid themselves of the burden, but the girl wanted to study further,” said Shetty.

The counsellors managed to convince her family. The girl is all set to join college soon.
In another such incident last month, a 15-year-old girl from Bihar managed to stop her impending marriage by writing to the district magistrate about her plight. The DM, on receiving the complaint reached the village. He reprimanded the parents and counselled them. He also asked the local mukhiya to be alert and prevent child marriages.
Bhawana is an intern with SheThePeople.TV