India is moving at a great speed in terms of development, however still today, there are people who are bound by their short-minded thinking. Recently a case of child marriage happened in the small town of Vikasnagar, in Dehradun, India.
I asked about this matter as I live in the same town and this story is about two girls who were saved from getting marriage at minor ages. These two young sisters were going to be married to two boys 25 years old each without their consent, girls were too young for marriage.
Some of their relatives and neighbors came to know about this and without hesitating or waiting, informed the Child Development Organization (CDO) about this incident, this organization works for the welfare of children and women. In India, marrying off minors is against the laws and is punishable as well.
The team from CDO, along with the police reached the house where this marriage event was going to happen. The policemen took the family members of the three families into their custody and made them write a written apology. The apology was written by the families of both the boys and the parents of the girls. An officer from CDO, Tarun Chamola, talked to the two sisters and confirmed their ages, which turned out to be 13 and 15 years. Officer called the families of both the boys and even had a counseling session with them. He told them that marrying at a minor age is illegal as per the Indian constitution, including a penalty that can lead to even time in jail.
The marriage of these 2 girls was successfully stopped, and beyond this one incident, this team has helped many people many times. Their work is like saving someone’s life, it is an act of great bravery to stop any wrongdoing.
Unfortunately, in India, a girl child is still not treated well in many societies. We have to raise our voices for them and understand that life is balanced with both when treated equally. A small girl child can be many avatars, a good daughter, a sister, a wife, an entrepreneur, a leader, and a mother in the future.
As part of this incident, I also came to learn about another organization that works for the welfare of children whose parents are not capable enough to educate their children. This organization provides the good education to children from 1 to 13 years of age and it looks like they’ll be helping the 2 girls as well.
The Indian government has also set up “Anganwadi Centers” under Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) linked with primary schools in which following facility is provided:
-Nutrition and Health Education
-Immunization / Vaccination
-Early Childhood Care and Education.
In India, though govt and people do awareness drives about children’s literacy, there is still some portion of people who do not give their children a proper education. If we get a good education, we can keep such incidents out of our society.