Minor girl resists forced marriage, police intervene

Fatehpur (Uttar Pradesh): Eleven-year-old Lakshmi Devi of Bhaupur village here is being held up as a role model after she refused to marry a man nearly two and a half times her age and sought police help in the matter.
The 6th standard student is garnering praise from every corner for her act.
The Child Protection Commission, Women’s Commission and social service organizations are now saluting the courage of Lakshmi.
Dr. Suchita Chaturvedi, member of the Uttar Pradesh Child Protection Commission, told IANS, “There is a need to encourage such girls. It will be a role model in the future. I salute her courage.”
Her father Surajbhan Nishad fixed her marriage on December 10 with 28-year-old Rohit Nishad, a resident of Bhaganakheda Majre Dulikheda in Bighapur, District Unnao. When Laksmi came to know about it, she protested. When nobody listened, she enlisted the help of the police.
State Women’s Commission member Sunita Basnal said, “In society child marriage is still prevalent. Prevention is essential. Salute to the spirit of this girl who has taken a bold step. It will bring awareness in society which needs to learn from such students.”
Lakshmi Devi is a resident of old Katri Majre in Bhaupur village on the banks of the Ganga in Fatehpur district and a student of class six in Sri Sadguru Dev Junior High School.
Anshumali Sharma, director of Lucknow Child Line, said, “This is a very courageous act. Child marriage can be prevented with social awareness. It is a very positive attitude in itself. Social organizations are its brand ambassadors in stopping child marriage. This is a very commendable step.”
On Sunday, when all the family members had gone to work in their farm, the girl called the 112 helpline from her mobile and told the police about the forced marriage. The police arrived within half an hour and took her to the police station.
The girl told the police that the man with whom her marriage was fixed often comes to their house and her father and he drink alcohol together. Lakshmi told her father, “Let me study now and get me married later.” But her adamant father just scolded her.
Her mother also did not listen to her, saying that a “daughter’s marriage is bound to happen one day. The boy is acquainted, get married”.
Local Police Station in-charge J.P Upadhyay told IANS, “The girl’s father has been persuaded to let her study now and get her married later. Her father has agreed. The beat in-charge was asked to oversee the whole affair. The police will keep checking on the girl regularly.” (IANS)

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