Child Marriage is a curse in India specially for the little girls. They are often packed off with older men for a rough life and many times a sad ending. It is important that everyone speaks up against such stupid customs.
In Bararola – village east of Kolkatta, West Bengal; a young girl Rekha Kalinda decided that she would not be subjected to this. So, at the age of 12, when her parents approached her with the decision to marry her off, she resisted. And she told her parents that this was her age to study and not to marry. They obviously weren’t happy.
She brought her friends, teachers, and administrators into the loop and the parents did listen. Not only was she successful is warding them off but also save two other girls from such crime in her village. In that area, child marriages have not happened since.
Rekha had a promise to keep after all. She had seen her elder sister get married off at age 11 and lose four children within one year of their birth. She had decided not to follow suit.
Laws are there. Programs are there. But somehow the people on the ground do not want to obey them and the regional or societal customs make their implementation tough. The society has to back the likes of Rekha for a better tomorrow.
Rekha, who had also wanted to study got the opportunity via National Child Labour Project in her district of Purulia, a Government program which provides young children opportunities to learn at school. Like Prosenjit Kundu, the district project director said:
“They love to come to school. These schools are the only place where they are treated as children. Otherwise, they are workers.”
The situation is certainly not very rosy in the rural areas, but it is still very important to keep pushing for one reform at a time, which somehow do not get activated just by the laws.
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