What a woman! She battled personal odds to become crusader against child marriages (IANS Special Series)
A Jodhpur court on Wednesday liberated a 19-year-old girl from the clutches of child matrimony, annulling her marriage.
Papli, daughter of a truck driver from Agolai village, was married to Jasaram from Dudubera village in November 2015 when she was just 16.
However, she did not accept the alliance imposed on her and refused to live with her husband. Her in-laws approached the community panchayat, which threatened her family with ostracisation and a monetary penalty.
"Frightened, my father threatened to hang himself. My relatives too exerted pressure on us," she says.
Fighting a lonely battle, it was a newspaper story that brought a ray of hope in Papli's life. The story detailed Dr Kriti Bharti and her Saarthi Trust's fight against child marriage and their efforts to rehabilitate the victims.
"Saarthi gave me the confidence and the hope that I have a right to live. Kriti didi counselled me and my family. Eventually, some of my relatives came out in my support. Didi also counselled some of my community leaders. Eventually, with their assistance, I filed a petition in the Jodhpur family court to annul my marriage. Kriti didi also ensured my security. She also appeared for me in the court," says Papli.
After hearing the arguments, Judge PK Jain annulled Papli's marriage on Wednesday.
Speaking to IANS, Papli said, "My marriage ruined my life but Kriti didi has given me a new life. Now I will study and will stand on my own feet.
Bharti said, "Best efforts are being made for better rehabilitation of Papli after the annulment of her marriage. She is being educated and also trained in skills. Some community leaders are still pressurising her family. If needed, judicial action will be taken.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)