Efforts to curb child marriage becoming effective in Rukum
RUKUM, March 16: After months of affair, Pavitra (name changed) of Sani Bheri Rural Municipality-2, Duli and Dinesh (name changed) of ward no 8 of the same rural municipality decided to turn their young love into marriage when they were still in grade eight. Promising to spend the rest of their lives together, they tied the knot on March 10. But they had not imagined that their marriage would not last more than two days.
After a complaint of child marriage was filed at police station, they were divorced after two days of marriage. Families of the two agreed for the divorce upon the suggestion of Rukumeli Society Development Center (RSDC) and Child Conservation Committee (CCC) of the ward as it was against the law to get married before reaching the legal age for marriage.
Similarly, on February 9, parents of Srijana (name changed) of Sani Bheri Rural Municipality ward no 3 were preparing to marry off their daughter without her consent. But later, Srijana herself reached to the CCC and filed a complaint at police station. This prevented her early marriage.
With the coordination of police and CCC, as many as six child marriages have been stopped so far. The government has declared marriage of people below eighteen years of age as child marriage while anyone marrying before they reach 20 is considered against the law. With the objective of ending child marriage, various campaigns have been conducted in ward no 3, 4, 7, 8 and 9 of Sani Bheri. CCC has urged the locals not to be involved in such marriages and wedding feasts. It has also warned of taking action against those found doing so.
Keshav BC, program coordinator of RSDC, informed that joint efforts of police and CCC have reduced a great number of child marriages in the district. "We have trained CCCs in each ward and they are doing their jobs effectively," said BC. According to Ram Prasad KC, a child rights officer of RDSC, it is very important to stop child marriage to avoid various social, educational, financial and health related problems in future.
After their separation, Pavitra and Dinesh stated that they made such a huge decision due to lack of awareness. Both of them promised to get married after reaching twenty. They even promised to make efforts to control child marriage.
Police have tightened checking of vehicles especially those of wedding procession in the routes of the mid-hills of Rukum to curb child marriage. As per the police officers deployed here, vehicles will be allowed to move ahead only if the bride and groom are eligible for marriage.