16 minutes agoAuthor: Raksha Singh
Shravasti and Lalitpur District. Two places where maximum child brides of UP live. In Shravasti, 1 out of every 2 girls is married under 18 years of age. 1 in 3 in Lalitpur. This has come out in the “NFHS, ie National Family Health Survey”.
Dainik Bhaskar reached the two districts one by one. The truth that has come out is shocking. Let’s go to Lalitpur and Shravasti….
2 months have passed but Pooja doesn’t know about her marriage
Pooja is 9 and her husband is 12. They both live in Lalitpur. They got married just 2 months ago. Pooja hasn’t gone to her in-laws house yet. I don’t even know much about marriage.
When asked what changed after marriage, she simply said, “Amma doesn’t let her play outside anymore. We like to play with friends. But Amma says to stay at home and learn how to make chowka-basan (utensils).
Pooja got married at the age of 9. Family members said they will send him after Sawan.
Suchita married at 13, first child at 15, second at 16
Suchita from Shravasti got married in 2011. She was 13 years old then. She became a mother at the age of 15. At the age of 16, the second child was born.
She says: “Both children were going through the operation, so there was a lot of pain. I couldn’t walk for several days. From above, the children also had to handle themselves. I loved studying, but my family got married.When I was young, I also married happily for new clothes.After having children, my desire for study also remained unfulfilled.
This picture is of Suchita’s two children. Currently the eldest son is 9 years old, the youngest son is 8 years old.
When Savita was 9 years old, she got married, if her husband approached her at night, she would have been afraid.
This is Savita’s story. He lives in Shravasti. He is now 32 years old. The marriage took place at the age of 9. At that time her husband was 20 years old.
She says, “I was 9 years old when my in-laws came. No one spoke well to me here. For many days, he only gave me food once. At night, when my husband tried to approach me, so I used to scream in panic. He beat me a lot. There was no place on my body where there were no injury marks.
He further says, “I faced all this for about 4 years. After that I ran away from my in-laws’ house. There was a grandmother in the village. She told her everything. I didn’t have the courage to go to house. Because, the name of the parents would have been bad. Nani married me to a boy for the second time. Now I am very happy with my husband.”
Savita married twice. Both marriages took place before the age of 15.
These were the stories for today. After meeting him, we started looking for reasons to get married at an early age. They reached out to the families of these girls, to the organizations that work on child marriage. There are 3 big reasons behind this.
Reason 1: “Girls above 18 have to pay more dowry, so they would have married at an early age”
The head of an NGO working on child marriage in Lalitpur, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: “Most of the people here are labourers. They are poor. If the girl was over 18, boys would have to be found 20 to 22 years.Boys at this age start working.So girls have to pay more dowry.That’s why they deliberately marry girls at an early age.
We spoke to about 40 Kushwaha Samaj and Sahariya tribal families in different villages of Shravasti and Lalitpur. He said that in our society girls get married at the age of 15-16. If the girl is above 18 then there is no boy in the society for her.
Reason 2: ‘If something goes wrong with the girls, it is better for them to go to their in-laws’ house.
Fear of family is the main reason why girls get married at an early age in Lalitpur. People said, “We work as laborers. All people stay out of the house all day to earn. Young girls stay alone at home. Boys often disturb by drinking alcohol. enter the houses.”
People say, “Sometimes the girls have been abused. So something is wrong with our girls. It is better to marry them off at an early age. So that she can go to her in-laws’ house.” If anything went wrong here, families meant that girls became mothers before marriage.
Reason 3: “18-year-old girls fall in love, run away to avoid love marriage”
People of Sonbarsa village of Shravasti said, “Age is very bad these days. We have faith in our girls. Not in the boys around. Boys seduce our girls. She falls in love with him too “.
He says, “Cut out the family name. Because love marriage is not considered good in our society. If you reject the girls, they either run away with the boys or hang themselves. That’s why it’s better to marry them at an early age appropriate and send them to their in-laws’ house.
Finally, see this graph of child marriage figures in Uttar Pradesh for 2021.
In the report, of the 226 million child brides in India, only 3.6 million cases were reported in Uttar Pradesh. After that came the ‘Save the Children-2022’ report. In which it was feared that post-Crown child marriage figures would rise rapidly.
4 lines describing the condition of girls in child marriage
“Put the burden of responsibility on my delicate shoulders,
Instead of a pen in his hands, he gave a broom roller.
I was ignorant but I buried myself under the rituals,
Why did age make me a woman?”
Note: The names of all child brides and their families involved in the story have been changed.