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Heights of Child Marriage: A Tale of 11-month Baby Bride to a Woman Fighting for Freedom

Published: 31st October 2015 02:01 PM  |   Last Updated: 31st October 2015 02:26 PM   |  A+A-

The year was 1996, when Santadevi Meghwal, an 11-month-old baby was married to a 9-year-old boy in a remote village of Rohichyakalan in Jodhpur. Santadevi had no clue about her marriage till 11 standard, where her friends in a jovial conversation revealed that she need not worry about her wedding as she was already married.

The shocked girl confronted her parents and found that it was her grandparent’s decision and they couldn’t do anything about it. She first encountered with Sanvalram, a 28-year-old labourer who revealed himself as her husband. Santadevi made it clear that she would not honour the wedding and doesn’t consider herself as married. According to Santadevi, Sanvalram often stalked her around the school and used to boast about his marriage in a intoxicated state.

On April, after her attempts in seeking help from the village turned futile, she approached Saarthi Trust NGO and child rights activist Kriti Bharti for annulling her marriage. The village Panchayat threatened her family with ostracism and fine and demanded that she deterred her actions.

Finally, after convincing few members in the Panchayat and filing a case in Jodhpur family court, a determined Santadevi was granted the annulment. Presently, Santadevi is pursuing her final year in under-graduation and dreams of becoming a teacher.



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