- The marriages were fixed to be held during April and May
- Two girls were 15-years-old while others were 16-years-old
- Childline volunteers interfered and cancelled the marriages
The brave intervention of a 15-year-old girl helped ten girls in Malappuram to escape from becoming victims of child marriage. Acting on a tip-off, the Childline volunteers swung into action and blocked the marriages of ten school going girls, which were scheduled to be held during summer vacation.
The Childline officials got a distress call from one of the girls to their toll-free number 1098, which led to the identification of ten marriages. "My parents have arranged for my wedding. Kindly do something to save me from this. I wish to study," the girl told officials over the phone. She was crying and was seeking help.
The team consisting of Malappuram district Childline coordinator Anwar Karakkadan and counsellors M V Binu, Raju Krishnan and Archana Haridas decided to conduct an investigation and found nine similar cases in Gandhipuram and Manjalpara in Karuvarakundu panchayat. Two girls were 15-years-old while others were 16-years-old. All ten girls from Muslim community. The officials interfered and managed to cancel the marriages.
Some of the marriages were fixed months ago, and some were even interacting with their grooms over the phone. All the girls belonged to low-income families and their parents were working for daily wages.
"All of them are aware of the law. But it is the financial and social situations that force them to marry off girls at such small age. Most parents believe that the first proposal is to be accepted or it will be difficult to find a groom in future," Childline officials told Asianetnews.tv
Usually, girls studying in tenth class and plus two are the victims of child marriage. Though marriages happen throughout the year there is an increasing trend during the months of April and May, Childline officials told Asianetnews.tv
Childline will provide counselling to the girls and their parents.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:42 PM