The child marriage preparations were already in progress, when the cops stepped in.
Child marriages are still rampant in some regions of India. A 2015 study by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences stated 278 complaints of child marriage, from October 2014-December 2015. Another research by Young Lives, in coordination with the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPR), revealed that Rajasthan has the highest reported incidences of child marriages.
Well, the efficient Alwar Police, managed to foil a child marriage. Kailash, a driver, from Bakhtal Ki Chawki of Alwar district, was about to marry off his minor son Mukesh (name changed) when the cops intervened and stopped the proceedings.
The cops had been informed that Kailash’s son was only 12-years-old. They the house while the wedding procession (baraat) was on. The attending relatives and guests were made to leave.
Kailash’s family tried to wriggle out of the predicament, by claiming that it was not Mukesh, but his uncle who was getting married. The cops, not to be fooled, took the uncle to the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), where he confessed he wasn’t the groom.
The CWC then took things forward, directing the cops to accompany Mukesh so he could be admitted to a child care home. It was the CWC that had received information about a family trying to marry off a minor boy. According to CWC chairperson Shravan Singhal in The Times of India, that is when they informed Udhyog Nagar Police Station.
Kailash’s family had made full preparations including setting a date for the wedding, and printing cards. The CWC issued the minor’s parents a warning, not to get him wedded before he attains the legal age for marriage.
As is always the case, the child in question is left utterly confused, and bewildered. Mukesh spoke to the CWC and claimed that his mother was opposed to the wedding. He was scheduled to marry a girl whose father wanted both his daughters to get married on the same day. Mukesh claimed to have never seen the bride.
Child marriage has many causes, and one of them is the adherence to age-old customs, due to economic conditions. People indulging in the practice are often from the lesser-privileged sections of society. Kailash has five children, of whom two boys are teenaged and unmarried. Mukesh is a mere Class V student.
Thanks to the timely efforts of the CWC, two young lives were set on the right path again. Hopefully, Mukesh and his erstwhile prospective child bride will be better off thanks to the intervention from the CWC and the cop.