A 13-year-old schoolgirl in Indian penned a desperate letter to her principal, begging for help to delay her arranged wedding. According to reports from India Times, the child bride reached out after she failed to convince her parents to cancel the nuptials planned for late April.
News outlets identified the girl as Duli Hembrom, a student of Milan Mithi High School. In her letter, she asked her principal to intervene, because she wishes to complete her education.
“I took an oath at the time of admission that I will not get married before I turn 18. I do not wish to get married early.”
Apparently her father has justified the arranged marriage saying that it is more difficult to make a marriage match when the girl is grown-up, and calling child marriage a common thing in the community.
With the wedding date looming nearer, there is no word yet if the family has had a last-minute change of heart in regards to their daughter’s marriage now that her plea has captured international attention.
Despite a Child Marriage Restraint Act that requires girls be at least 18 years old to get married, a reported 52% of girls in India are wed before that age.
Women’s rights activist Aarati Benera condemned the practice, calling it a social evil.
“Child marriage is illegal and a social evil,” said Benera. “It also has a negative psychological impact on a child. They are burdened with additional responsibility at a very young age.”
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