Acting Chief Justice of the Hyderabad High Court, Ramesh Ranganathan, converted a letter into a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on Saturday, that sought rehabilitation and support to the victims of child marriages in Telangana.
The court took up a letter by 11 victims of child marriage, who made a passionate plea to the CJ, pointing out that they were suffering from various health problems. All the girls were aged between 15 and 19.
The letter also said that children were dying during pregnancy and delivery, and there were no shelter homes where they could be sent, after being rescued. This resulted in sending the children back to their own families, where they were subjected to abuse.
In their letter, they also highlighted how difficult it was for victims of child marriage to return to society and lead a normal life.
Requesting the CJ to hear their plea, they asked authorities to provide 5% reservation in all educational institutions and special skill development, besides demanding a special health care provision to them and their children. They also demanded 3% reservations in jobs.
In response, the court also noted that the schemes and sops announced for victims of child marriage was not reaching the grassroot level.
In December last year, a study by MV Foundation on the experiences of child brides, came out with some shocking results that highlighted the violence and abuse that they faced.
The foundation had interviewed 46 married girls and 26 girls whose marriages had been prevented.
According to the study, 89% of the girls were physically assaulted by the husband, while 71% faced physical violence from their in-laws. 78% of the girls said that their health had deteriorated, while 15% were mentally depressed.
67% of the girls felt that they could not discuss health issues, while 37% felt lonely.