A 15-year-old girl’s courageous move to call child help line at 109, helped stop her marriage to a 21-year-old man in Hyderabad on Friday. The class 10 student was supposed to write her last exam, but was forced not to by her parents. With the wedding scheduled for 11.20 am, the girl managed to call the help line at 9 am. Child welfare authorities and She Team officials from Rachakonda police rushed to the spot an hour later and stopped the marriage.
A local child rights activist, Achyuta Rao of NGO Balala Hakkula Sangham, came to know about the case. “We quickly alerted the police and were able to rescue her,” he told TNM. “She told us that she is interested in studying but her parents were against it.”
Initially however, confusion prevailed regarding the age of the child. While the girl claimed that she was a minor, her parents showed their daughter’s Aadhaar card, according to which she was 18 years old. However, after thorough examination of her school records and other documents, it was determined that the she is indeed a minor.
Police produced the girl’s parents before the Mandal Revenue Officer, Uppal and booked a bind over case under 107 CrPC (a section which acts as a deterrent against repeating the crime) against them. Before being let off, they were counselled and warned against repeating the crime.
“The girl’s parents claimed that they were having health issues and wanted to get her married before they die,” said Nacharam Inspector M Mahesh.
Activists who were part of the rescue said that the groom was a close relative of the girl’s family and was working as a driver in Yadagirigutta.
The rescued teenager has been sent to Nimboliadda shelter home.