19-year-old, a ray of hope for girls

Raji blew the whistle on child marriage at her village Gandettur

Published: 01st January 2012 02:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 06:06 PM   |  A+A-

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Justice K L Manjunath with Raji. District Minister S A Ramdas, Social Welfare Minister Narayanaswamy and Deputy Commissioner P S Vastrad on | Express

MYSORE: The village in which she lives, situated in the backwaters of river Kapila, is a picturesque one; however, it is a cruel, dark world for girls. Girls remaining unmarried until the age of 15 are preferred only for second marriages in Gandettur village of H D Kote taluk. Those who go against the rules will have to face social boycott. This has resulted in more than 100 girls in the village being rejected for marriage. Raji, 19, a semi-literate girl, however, scripted a revolution by throwing light on this heinous practice.

It was her daring act to contact a television channel to throw light on the sorry state of affairs that resulted in the district administration rushing to the girls’ rescue.

The poor girl, who was praised by ministers, bureaucrats and judges for her whistle-blowing act, was criticised by a section of the villagers.

Raji had gone to Kozhikode in Kerala to work at a beauty parlour. A year later, she returned to her village.

On seeing the difficulties her family was facing, she went to Bangalore to work in a beauty parlor and as a housemaid.

She spoke to a TV channel about this practice prevalent in her village, which prompted Judge K L Manjunath pulling up the district administration and seeking a report on the status of this custom. Justice Manjunath commended her for her bold step. She told Express, “I will continue my fight against this social stigma; I will accept a proposal from anyone who comes forward to marry me.”

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