LAMJUNG, Jan 16: Locals of Marsyangdi Rural Municipality of Lamjung have announced to end child marriage.
Stakeholders and locals at a program organized by the rural municipality on Saturday agreed to abolish child marriage in their villages. Parents assured not to spoil the future of their children by arranging their marriages at a tender age. Many of them even admitted that child marriage has not just harmed the future of children but has also made parents regret their decision.
Newly-elected provincial assembly member Dhananjay Dawadi, who was invited as the chief guest in the program, stated that this campaign will bring positive change.
"Every year, a large number of our children become scapegoats to early marriage due to illiteracy and poverty," said Dwadi, adding, "This is a serious problem but is getting less attention than it needs."
Speaking at the program, former lawmaker Jamindraman Ghale said that child marriage is a deep-rooted practice in rural parts which needs to be eradicated.
There is a belief that gods will be pleased if parents arrange marriage of their daughters before menstruation. Some believe that a daughter must not be kept at home after menstruation.
"We need to change the ill traditions and culture that encourage and promote child marriage," said Ghale.
As girls getting married at an early age give birth to too many children before reaching the appropriate age, it ultimately takes a toll on their health. Some even lose their life due to this. It also affects the development of the child. According to Hom Bahadur BK, vice chairperson of the rural municipality, some people also practice child marriage by imitating their neighbors.
Tirtha Bahadur Basnet, principal of Amar Secondary School, informed that students drop out from schools after they get married.
"We were doing a great mistake but we have realized it of late and we promise we won't repeat it in future," said Hira Devi Ghale of Bhulbhule. The Marsyangdi Rural Municipality has assured to create awareness among the locals regarding the disadvantages of early marriage. Elected representatives have also decided to take stern action against those practicing child marriage in the villages.