After being physically assaulted and intimidated by her parents who wanted her to marry a 35-year-old doctor, a 17-year-old girl escaped from their clutches and was eventually rescued by child welfare activists in Hyderabad on Friday.
Minor girl whose parents wanted to marry her off to someone more than double her age as a second wife, says #Hyderabad police did not act on her complaint, so she has approached activists to save her;12th class girl now shifted to chikdline shelter #ChildBrideRevolts pic.twitter.com/9e0jwIi4Ecâ€” Uma Sudhir (@umasudhir) November 11, 2017
The girl, *Divya, a resident of Jillelaguda told the Child Welfare Department officials that her parents were hell bent on marrying her off to Raghavender, a divorcee who is twice her age.
Though she resisted and said that she wants to continue studying, her parents didnâ€™t agree and physically assaulted her, she told officials.
The groom was a doctor, residing in Karmanghat.
Divya in her statement told child rights activists that she initially approached Meerpet police station and complained of the harassment by her parents. Police after counselling her parents sent Divya to her uncleâ€™s home. Although her uncle didnâ€™t physically hurt her, he too tried to cajole her into marrying according to the wishes of her parents.
When she still refused to give in, her parents came to her uncleâ€™s home and took her back. The family then made quick arrangements for the girlâ€™s engagement.
While the engagement was scheduled to be held on November 12, the marriage was fixed to be held on November 24.
However, with the help of a relative, she escaped from the clutches of her parents. The relative asked her to approach Balala Hakkula Sangham- an NGO working for Child Rights.
After coming to BHS office in Narayanaguda, she narrated her ordeal and showed the bruises caused by her parents.
Balala Hakkula Sangham president Achyutha Rao, said. â€śShe showed the bruises in her eyes and stomach and cried about how her parents tormented her. We immediately called Child Line and soon the Child Welfare department recorded her statements in our presence. She is now happy after being sent to the Home.â€ť
The girl now has been shifted to Telangana State Child Welfare home.
â€śIt is shameful that a doctor, an educated person wanted to marry a small girl against her will,â€ť Rao lamented.
How to contact Child Line
Children and adults who want to report child abuse can always dial the Child Line toll-free number 1098 for aid and assistance.
It is a 24-hour free service. Child Line not only responds to emergency needs, but is also involved in long-term care and rehabilitation.