Forced to Marry a 35-Year-Old, Hyd Teen Runs Away From Home
A Hyderabad girl who escaped the clutches of child marriage, was rescued by child welfare activists.
After being physically assaulted and intimidated by her parents who wanted her to marry a 35-year-old doctor, a 17-year-old girl escaped from their clutches and was eventually rescued by child welfare activists in Hyderabad on 10 November.
*Divya (name changed), told the Child Welfare Department officials that her parents were bent on marrying her off to Raghavender, a divorcee who resides in Karmanghat. She alleged that her parents did not pay heed to her objections and physically assaulted her.
The Girl’s Statement to the Child Rights Activists
In her statement, Divya told child rights activists that she initially approached Meerpet police station and complained about her parents. The police counselled her parents and sent her to an uncle’s house. Divya alleges that the uncle pressurised her to agree to the marriage.
When she refused to give in, her parents took her back home and made quick arrangements for an engagement. The engagement was slotted for 12 November and she was scheduled to be married on 24 November. But the teenager managed to escape with the help of a relative.
She approached Balala Hakkula Sangham, an NGO working for Child Rights. At the BHS office in Narayanaguda, she narrated her ordeal and showed the bruises caused by her parents. Achyutha Rao, Balala Hakkula Sangham president, said: “She showed the bruises in her eyes and stomach and cried about how her parents tormented her. We immediately called Child Line and soon the Child Welfare department recorded her statements in our presence. She is now happy after being sent to the Home.”
The teen now has been shifted to Telangana State Child Welfare home. “It is shameful that a doctor, an educated person wanted to marry a small girl against her will,” Rao lamented.
Emergency Helpline Numbers
Children and adults who want to report child abuse can dial the Child Line toll-free number 1098 for aid and assistance. The free service claims to be available for 24 hours.
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