Balika Vadhu: Girl child married at 4, divorced at 8 in UP's Shravasti

Shravasti, Nov 12: Four years ago, a four-year-old girl named Fatima became a victim of child marriage in Nakhi village of Shravasti district of Uttar Pradesh.

Fatima's father Mangre, a poor labourer got her daughter married with a 14-year-old boy, Bakridi. But, in a span of four years, the light of knowledge and education changed Mangre's old beliefs.

After four years, when the groom's family, staying in nearby Tulsipur village, came at Mangre's home to take eight-year-old Fatima to her in-laws's place, then brave Mangre had the guts to say no to them.

Mangre asked 18-year-old Bakridi's family to wait for ten years to take Fatima at their home. Because, according to law, a girl should be at least 18-year-old at the time of marriage.

Shravasti accounts for maximum underage weddings.

But, Bakridi's family did not agree with Mangre's decision. So, he called a Kazi, who helped in granting divorce to them.

Now, Mangre not only wants to educate his daughter but he has also pleged to stop other parents who get their minor girls married at tender age, when they do not even understand the meaning of marriage.

According to a last year's Unicef report, "Over 32.9% of the girls are married against the national average of 22.1% below the legally permissible age of 18 in the state."

Figures also showed that Shravasti accounts for maximum underage weddings.

In Shravasti, 72.6 per cent of the boys and 82.5 per cent of the girls get married before the legal age of marriage.

The report also highlighted that female literacy rate is 19 percent in Shravasti.

Report also revealed that child marriages may be outlawed but in India's most populous state Uttar Pradesh, approximately 80 percent of the girls are married off well before they turn 18.

OneIndia News

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