New Delhi: Despite laws against it, child marriage remains widespread across the country in the name of ‘tradition’ and because of poverty and gender inequality. A 13-year-old girl, who had a lot of homeworks to complete, had to leave school in Hyderabad because she has now become wife of a 15-year-old. They were married off secretly in early hours on Wednesday in the heart of Hyderabad.
Both the bride and groom are smart school going kids. Mehdi on their hand and mangalsutra around the neck, the children did not chose to marry and say they want to continue in school.
The duo is well aware that child marriage is a crime, yet they agreed because they were told that it will bring prosperity in their lives and families.
“My parents said that it will be good for my family and myself but I want to continue studies,” said the girl to NDTV.
Asked whether he wanted to marry at this age, the boy replied, “No, not interested. But we need to follow the traditions and practices of our forefathers.”
The parents of the bride and groom insist that they were only following the tradition and believe they were doing the right thing even though the law does not allow it.
“It is our family tradition. We have studied the Vedas and that is what is prescribed. We followed it and end up here,” said Anjaneya Sharma, father of the groom.
After their case was brought to the attention of the authorities, the children were moved to child protection homes and a case has been booked under the Prevention of Child Marriage Act.
The bride’s father, Ramesh Sharma, said that they are being punished for doing what is best for the children. “We upheld Hindu traditions and you brought us to police station from the temple,” he said.