PATNA: A 15-year-old girl accompanied by 30 classmates rushed to a local police station on Tuesday to get her wedding deferred. It was scheduled for later this month.
The family of Pinki Kumari, a resident of Tetaria village in southern Bihar’s Gaya district, had arranged for her to get married to a 22-year-old widower named Kamlesh Kumar.
The grade nine student is enrolled in a local government girls’ school. She was against the match; she wanted to study more. After mustering up her courage, she asked her parents to postpone her wedding until she had at the very least attained adulthood. However, they refused, fixing the nuptials on February 18 instead. Wedding cards were also distributed.
As wedding preparations were in full swing, she spoke to her classmates about her worries. They promised to stop her wedding at any cost. They rushed to the local Barachatti police station and urged the station house officer, Chetnanad Jha, to stop the wedding explaining that she is a minor.
The police officer then went to the girl’s village and held meetings with the villagers. “You must know that child marriage is an offence and you must follow the law,” the officer told the girl’s father, Munna Prasad, who agreed to defer it. He also promised to marry his daughters off only once they have attained adulthood.
“I have four daughters and the soaring inflation is quite worrying. So, I wanted to get her married off soon,” girl’s father told the police officer.
Local village council chief Madhuri Kumari has rewarded the 30 girls who saved their friend; they were each given Rs100 (Dh5.7).
Officials and social scientists say the friends were outraged because of the growing awareness about the child marriage. Last month, the state government in Bihar claimed to have formed the world’s longest human chain to protest against child marriage and dowry.
“This is a welcome change in the society. Continuing government campaigns are bearing fruit now,” local Gaya district magistrate Abhishek Kumar Singh said.
Courtesy: Gulf News
Image courtesy: social media