Child marriages have been practiced for centuries in India. The problem remains rooted in religious traditions, social practices, and prejudices. As kids, we are unaware of the traps and wiles that we walk into. And many parents deliberately assist in such heinous deeds for their own selfish reasons. The kids go through mental abuse and end up being emotionally scarred for life.
However, there are a few people who take a stand at the right time. Pinki Tanwar, a 19-year-old girl has showcased bravery by standing up against the torture she had to bear because of the traditional customs.
Pinki, who hails from Thanagazi in Alwar district, Rajasthan, was just 10-year-old when she was married off to Himmat Singh of Dausa. That was the beginning of her mental torture as a child bride by her husband’s family. Her husband would visit her place frequently and keep on insisting her parents for gauna (taking the bride to her marital home for conjugal relationship and more).
The ritual of gauna is frequently seen in child marriages across India. After the marriage ceremony, the girl continues to live at home with her parents. Only after the gauna ceremony is completed, that the marriage is consummated, and the bride goes on to live with her husband. In case of Pinki, it began taxing her emotionally as she wasn’t ready to give in to the societal pressure. Things got out of hand when her in-laws tried to kidnap her from her own home.
Help at the right time
During that difficult situation, Pinki’s mother came to know about Jodhpur-based Saarthi Trust, a welfare organization and its child marriage annulment campaign. Without wasting any time, she got in touch with them. Soon, Pinki was called to Jodhpur and her rehabilitation process started. In the meanwhile, she filed a petition to annul her marriage in the family court in Jodhpur last June. The institute’s managing trustee, Dr Kriti Bharti stood for her in the court and made sure that the process happened smoothly.
On January 31, 2018, under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, family court judge Rekha Bhargava passed an order and declared Pinki’s marriage to be null and void. Finally, after 10 years, Pinki was granted the key to unlock herself from the shackles of patriarchy.
“We want children to break free from the handcuffs of child marriage. We are trying to give them a new life when they felt like there was no other choice,” the trust stated.
Pinki wishes to make the most out of her deserved freedom. She recently cleared the exams for the Pre-Teacher Eligibility Test and has now joined a college to pursue her B.Ed.
“Now that my so-called marriage is over, I will study hard and become a teacher,” she says with a sparkle in her eyes.
From a childhood filled with horror, to being able to breathe as a free woman again, Pinki has took a bold stand against the traditional norms of patriarchy. She inspires many such young girls who are forced into an early marriage to muster up enough courage and fight for freedom against a family they do not belong to.
Share this story and post your comments in the box below. We read each one of them.