Kerala schoolgirl stops ten child marriages

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A schoolgirl in Kerala showed courage and stopped ten child marriages including hers by approaching a childline volunteers last week. The incident happened in the Malappuram district of Kerala where ten child marriages were blocked by volunteers in the start of this Summer.

According to the news daily The Hindu, one of the children called the toll free number 1098 which led the volunteers to trace the children and rescue them. Anwar Karakkadan, the Malappuram district Childline coordinator speaking about this issue said that the girl called the volunteers to request her marriage along with others that were arranged and was to be held during the Summer vacations. He also said that the girl expressed a desire to continue her studies and not to be married.

Anwar said, “She also said that she would die if this marriage was conducted. Among the 10 girls, two were 15 years old, while the others were 16.” After the call, the Childline officers approached Karuvarakundu Panchayat representatives and carried out a thorough investigation. Through this, they found that almost 10 child marriages were arranged during the months of April and May.

All these girls were apparently from Muslim communities and had their marriages settled months ago. The families, which according to reports were below poverty level, took this decision because they were scared of the increasing prices of marriages. The Child Marriage Prevention and ward members of representative Panchayats canceled these marriages. The girls and their parents have been sent to counseling by the volunteers after this incident.


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