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Girls Want To Study, Accused Parents Of Force Marriage Plan

2016-08-13 23:42

The brave-heart school girl in Dhantala


Ranaghat, Aug. 13: Police today recovered two school going minor girls from Nadia’s Dhantala after they lodged separate complaints against their parents accusing them of arranging marriage without their consent.

The two girls – cousins in relationship, aged 12 and 15, who read in class seven and class nine respectively, walked into the teachers’ room of their school and sought help from the teachers as they do not want to get married and want to continue study.

The school authorities after receiving their written complaints apprised the Ranaghat-II local block development officer, who instructed the police to recover the two minor girls.

The two sisters, both daughters of carpenters, later handed over to the child line, a nongovernmental organization working for welfare of children.

Monimala Biswas, a coordinator of Child line said: “We would produce the girls before district child welfare court in Krishnanagar on Tuesday, where there have also been summoned for counseling”.

A day before the state government is set to celebrate the third Kanyashree day; the Nadia administration appeared to be euphoric knowing about the courage of the two girls and termed it as the success of the state government flagship’s welfare scheme for girls that aimed to stop early marriage of the school going girls.

The class-nine girl, who is daughter of day labor, was enrolled to the Kanyashree scheme last year. The class seven girl would be eligible for the scheme next year.

According to the school sources, at about 11am, a little after the assembly, the two girls who read in Hazrapur high school first walked into the head master’s chamber. But finding him absent, they went to the teachers’ room and broke down in tears seeking help to save their lives.

Kamalesh Majumder, Sanskrit language teacher of the school, said: “The girls were crying. They said that their parents no longer want them to continue study and decided to get them married. We were shocked to learn that one the girls, who read in class seven, has been scheduled for Sunday and the other’s has been slated for next week. They sought our help to save their lives and they want to continue studies. We then advised them to submit a written complaint so that we can take up the matter with district administration”.

“We then informed the Ranaghat-II BDO about the girls, who in turn instructed police to act and the girls were recovered. We also called the girl’s parents to the school appraising them about the development, but they did not turn up”, the teacher added.

The class seven girl said: “Yesterday I came to know that my parents have negotiated my marriage in Bankura. I was scheduled to be taken there today where my elder sister was married a few years ago. I protested their decision, but my parents ignored it. So, today I left home without informing them as I do not want to get married and continue study”.

The other girl, a student of class nine said: “My parents have fixed my marriage Aranghata which is scheduled for next week. I pleaded them to cancel it. But, they ignored. Today when my sister decided to go against parents, I got courage and joined her”.

Shilpi Sinha, Ranaghat II BDO said: “There is still lack of awareness among the parents who want to get rid of the girl child by getting them married as a way out of the poverty despite the support extended by the state government. The positive aspect is that the girls, have become aware and realized that it is the education which is indispensable to overcome the poverty and to become successful”

“We would tell the stories of these two girls in our awareness campaigning against child marriage, which is a major objective of the Kanyashree scheme”, the BDO added.

Nadia District child welfare officer Rina Mukherjee said: “We will talk to the parents of the girls and issue conditional restoration order for the girls to the family. But, before that we would conduct counseling of their parents. The restoration order will be given subject to written undertaking by the parents that they would not again get the girls married and appear before the CWC in time to time. We will also ask the district child protection officer and child line to monitor the  case and to ensure the orders are being complied with”.

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