JAIPUR: A 14-year-old girl in Rajasthan's Dholpur district has been forced into marriage.
This grave lapse happened even after letters from the coordinator of the district child helpline alerted senior officials concerned about the impending child marriage. But nobody in the administration took any action.
This case pertains to the wedding of a 14-year-old girl in Beelpur village of Dholpur district on June 30.
Reena, the local child helpline coordinator, who wrote letters to Dholpur’s SDM, Tehsildar, chairperson of the child welfare committee, and the local police station said: “I had received information that a wedding of a minor was to be organised in Beelpur village on June 30. I immediately wrote letters to the SDM, tehsildar, chairperson of the child welfare committee, and the in-charge of our local Police Station. Later, I received a letter from some villagers that the child marriage had been organised.”
Now, the officials concerned are trying to pass the buck. Furious child rights activists are demanding that besides the culprits, a case of criminal negligence should be registered against the officials.
The SDM of the area, Bharti Bhardawaj said, “I’ve just come to know about this child marriage. I will talk to our Tehsildar and seek a factual report on this case.” The district Collector of Dholpur, Rakesh Jaiswal, said, “This case has been brought to my attention. We will have it examined and hold a proper inquiry. Once the inquiry ends, we will be in a position to tell you what action will be taken.”
Krati Bharti, a well-known activist, who has helped to annul 41 child marriages and prevented over a thousand child marriages in the state, said this case reflects negligence on the part of both -- the childline and the district administration.
“The entire administrative system is very insensitive and lenient about preventing child marriages. In this case, they got information nine days before the wedding and yet did nothing to stop it. They neither gave shelter or protection to the girl nor did they initiate any counselling of the parents. Those officials, who should have prevented this event, have shown criminal negligence which has destroyed the life of a minor girl,” asserts Krati Bharti.