Joined: 06 August 2008
Youth thwarts group child marriages
Tribune News Service
Jaipur, December 7
An alert and daring youth of Badliya village in Ajmer district took on his community and saved last night the lives of four 'balika vadhus' who were all set to become the latest victims of the child-marriage phenomenon, a social evil still prevalent in various parts of the state.
Anandi of "Balika Vadhu" serial has showcased to the nation the suffering of such minor girls forced into wedlock at an age where they don't even understand the gender differences. But there are thousands - or may be lakhs - in Rajasthan who have lived through the horror.
Four minor girls aged between four and 11 were dancing in new dresses, unmindful that the bridal wear was a gateway to a life in shackles. They were Maina (10) and Pooja (5) , daughters of Khiya Singh, and sisters Puja (4) and Rekha (6), daughters of Kanhayia Lal of Mayapur village.
All arrangements by their parents and villagers for the ceremony scheduled for today in Mangliawas block in Mayapur village were considered final till the saviour, Devendera Singh, stepped in.
Interference like this earns the wrath of the community in such a manner that cops, journalists and NGO activists have beaten a retreat many a time. This time also, the intereference was thwarted.
But a determined Devendera along with SHO Ravinder Singh of Mangliawas police station refused to budge. They roped in the civil administration, got an order to stop the marriages immediately and succeeded in saving the 'balika vadhus'.
After all there are over 13,000 child widows in Rajasthan alone as per the 2001 census. Several social NGOs besides the government are busy in preventing more girls falling victims to the social evil. Youths like Devendra who are not part of any NGO or an organised group are the real beacon of light to prevent darkness in the lives of many prospective Anandis.
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