November 25, 2007

In Laws' hands

ALUR (ANDHRA PRADESH): Pain, agony and distress – these words sound heavy even for a mature person – but for 13-year-old Janaki amma – it was a nighmare. Not able to withstand the torture by her 45-year-old husband anymore, she drank kerosene one night, in a bid to commit suicide. After her recovery, she refused to stay with her husband any longer and left the house. It's been six months now, and Janaki is doing a bridge course for enrolling into Class VI in a government school next year.

The journey from the house of her 45-year-old husband, who used to force her to work in the cotton fields and also beat her up every night, to the residential camp in Alur run by a NGO where she is studying in Class VII now, was not easy for the 16-year-old Revati of Bandeliki Chealra village. Married to a husband, who already had two wives, this minor was tortured by her in-laws too, until one day she gathered courage to file a complaint against them in the police station, and refused to go back. Now, all she dreams about is her first day in court as a practising lawyer.



"I want to study law to help lakhs of hapless girls like me," says Revati. If the story of these child-wives of various villages in Ranga Reddy district is anything to go by, more and more minor girls married off by their parents against their will have been courageously walking out their marital homes, choosing to study instead, with the dream for a better future ahead.

"After working for 15 hours in the cotton and chilli fields, I had work at my in-law's house and then got beaten up by my drunkard-husband at night. Life was hell for me," recalls Janaki, who wants to be a nurse. Even as child-marriages are rampant, of late, the trend to walk out of the marriage is also being seen in various villages of the district. There are over two dozen such young girls who have walked out of marriages.

A recent survey conducted across all 17 blocks of the district by M V Foundation, a NGO working to curb child labour in the state, stated that eight out of 10 girls here are married off before they attain the age of 18. The study also reveals that 36% of women, who were married off early but are now single, are below 25 years.

"This is a positive trend, with these girls willing to study to make a future of their own. Despite getting no co-operation from their parents, these girls prefer to walk out of a bad marriage," said Md Rahim, co-ordinator of M V Foundation.

2 comments:

maha said...

I believe one should always keep count the blessings we have....

Heena said...

Well after reading dis, i feel pity as well as proud to be a girl.............

I dont understand how come parents can give their innocent child a life like dis......

A small lil girl who can’t even handle her own self, thrown to a monster and his family.
I think before doing anything wid such girls, we must give attention to the parents like dis, otherwise it will be an endless procedure. How many NGO’s one can run to help or give shelter to such girls. It’s already done enough, now time to treat these monster parents a lesson and educate them.