The alphabet of the day is C
C stands for : Childhood Marriage
A piece of fiction ( bit reality too ) on Childhood Marriage
In that village , Chandra was like any other young girl who was living her life with desires of touching the sky, totally unaware of the society’s ill eyes and burdens . Studying enthusiastically in the school in morning and playing jovially with her Mohalla friends in the evening . One day , while going to school , she noticed few ill eyes staring at her and passing some comments flirtatiously .Her body gave some strange indications of uncomfort . Some complex movements in the brain along with the jumping heartbeats. Those bad looks were like the first injury on Chandra’s innerself, she felt like someone had stabbed her #Astitva . While coming back from school in the afternoon , she had to face little greater injury , this time on her body too .
Next day , her marriage was the sudden topic of discussion at home because one of those ill eyes had expressed his will for marrying Chandra .
” Marriage ? I am just thirteen Amma ” she asked her mother
“So ? You have entered teenage , that’s more than enough .” these were uneducated mother’s rude words .
“Aur meri Padai , uska kya ? ” This time no reply came from Amma .
Chandra hurriedly went to Bhanwari Tayi, a social worker in the village . Bhanwari Tayi herself had been a victim of childhood marriage and now she wanted no girl child to become a Bride . She was working with a women’s development project for the last few years .
But the patriarchal society didn’t spare, neither the girl child nor the elderly social woman worker. Bhanwari Tayi tried her level best but her protest against Chandra’s marriage faced disapproval from villagers . At the end , the elderly social worker also had to pay for her ‘fight for right ‘. Bhanwari Tayi was boycotted by the community and even gang raped .
Bhanwari is a real character
Bhanwari Devi is an Indian social worker from Rajasthan who was allegedly gang raped in 1992 as to protest her for her efforts to prevent a child marriage . You can read about her on Wikipedia . She had to face lot of pressure of society and the mental stress of the judicial system in addition to the physical and emotional molestation . Even after the case had got nationwide recognition , finally the court set the accused free and allowed them to roam freely, nobody stopping them from boasting of their lustful experience with Bhanwari .
My thoughts on Childhood Marriage
When I thought of writing on this topic , my mind questioned if this was an issue of the past . But on certain research , I found that it has still not vanished completely from the society . The statistics say that everyday more than 25000 girls under 18 are forced to marry worldwide . Childhood marriage threaten girl’s life and health . Why are little girls burdened with another’s life too even before turning adults ? Why does the society rob a girl of her childhood ? You know in certain parts of Tanzania , the daughters are traded for cows . They make their little daughters brides as they feel the daughters as burden but cows as financial help . Don’t girls deserve their rights of freedom ? By making child brides , their emotional and physical health is kept at stake . Can we create a healthy society in this way ? And when a woman like Bhanwari stood up for the rights and justice , the society brutalized her . Is women empowerment just a word ?
Here is a video about childhood marriage in Bangladesh
Let’s create a society where women and girls live in dignity , are healthy , have own choices , have equal opportunities .