BELAGAVI: A 14-year-old girl literally drove home the message of a street play she enacted on child marriage.
Engaged to a boy for three years, she got her wedding, planned for later in the year, called off. For this, she had to threaten her parents that she would get them arrested if they forced her to get married.
The ninth standard student had explained to her parents about how early marriage could adversely affect her health and the legal aspects of it.
Born at Kalakambha village in Belagavi taluk, Tulasi Mariyal had been admitted to Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco Society Residential school at Vadagavi in 2011. She left her parents’ place in 2012 after they got her engaged to a boy of Hunchanatti village.
With an intention to create awareness on adverse effects of child marriage, her school planned to stage a street play at nearby villages.
The play, titled ‘Child Marriage is an Offence’ in which she played the role of a child protection officer, was held at Tarihal, Hosa Vantamuri, Kakati, Honaga and Sheganmatti villages. Her role inspired her to persuade her parents.
Till she was 11, she had not attended school. She used to collect plastic from garbage with her parents and graze sheep. However, the government’s ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’ changed her life as she joined the school under ‘Chinnara Tangudana’ (Shelter for Children) at the Don Bosco school.
Tulasi, who is the second of six siblings, said she will never allow her younger sisters to get married till they are 18 years of age. She said her elder brother has also refused to marry a minor.