”As per the tribal custom, marriages from other communities should not be encouraged. The few number of women is considered as the major reason for this evil practice. For around 25 adult boys, there are only a few adult girls. Hence, as soon as a girl turns 10, men would tie the knot,” Suresh said.
A caste hierarchy exists among the communities - Muthuvan, Kattunaikkan and Kattupaniya - and none of the communities are ready to break it, which leads to child marriages.Kalyani, an anganwadi teacher from Palakkayam tribal colony who taught Sindhu, said that this is a serious social issue.
“The health condition of these girls is also worse. It is unfortunate that the officials are not even bothered to visit the place,” she said.Nilambur CI A P Chandran said: “As the practice exists among the tribals the world outside has no knowledge about it. ‘‘Nobody complains about the practice. The only way to eradicate this tradition is by creating awareness.”