Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Nayagarh, Jun 13:
A day after a similar incident in Cuttack city, the district administration, along with local police and some volunteers, yesterday foiled a child marriage bid in Odisha’s Nayagarh district.
Family members of a 14-year-old girl were allegedly trying to marry her off to a 40-year-old man from the same vicinity.
Following a tip off by locals and acting on the order of the collector Hemant Kumar Padhy, the district administration, led by Deputy Collector Nrusingha Charan Swain, Bhapur Block Child and Women welfare officer, Nayagarh Police SDPO and Phatehgarh Police, raided the place in Badasahara Panchayat under Bhapur block of Nayagarh and rescued the girl.
The dinner was ready, the girl was wearing her bridal dress and the marriage ceremony was about to begin when the raid spoiled the fun and saved the girl.
The girl, second daughter of very poor parents, had dropped out of school after Class-VIII due to poverty.
“I have two daughters and three sons. The older one is married. This is my second daughter. I agreed to the marriage as my financial condition would not have allowed me to marry her off and pay for the dowry a few years later. I don’t want to take the blame of keeping a grown up girl in house either,” said her father who also suffers from many diseases affecting the family’s financial health.
The 40-year-old groom is on the run following the raid and the parents of the minor have been detained as per Prohibition of Child Marriage Act.
On Thursday, a 15-year old girl had been similarly rescued by child help line members and police in Cuttack city while she was being married off to a 38-year old girl.