Minor girl says ‘No’ to marriage, complains against family

By Anil Sharma, IANS,

Sawai Madhopur (Rajasthan) : In a courageous move, a 15-year-old tribal girl in this Rajasthan district has complained against her family members for forcing her to marry.

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Nirma Meena of Puneta village, over 170 km from state capital Jaipur, has filed the complaint with the police against her parents and relatives accusing them of forcing her to marry a middle-aged man.

“I am a student of class 10 and I want to study further, but my father, who is addicted to alcohol, is planning to get me married to a middle-aged person,” Meena said while filing the police complaint.

She said that her father, with the help of a few relatives, had fixed June 10 as the date for her engagement with Mukesh, a resident of Gangapur city.

Meenas are classified as Scheduled Tribes (STs) in Rajasthan.

“I do not want to get married. I am below the marriageable age. Whenever I oppose or request my family members not to get me married they beat me and threaten to kill me. Life has become a hell for me,” she told IANS Monday.

“I have sought protection from the police and the administration,” she said.

Officer Narayan Dan, in-charge of Boli police station, said: “Yes, we have received a complaint from the girl. She has requested us to stop this marriage and give her protection. We are looking into her complaint and have called her family members for questioning.”

The minimum age for girls to marry in India is 18 while for boys it is 21.

In Rajasthan, child marriages occur on a large scale, especially among tribals.

As per rough estimates, in some districts over 60 percent girls get married before they are 18.