Sundarbans, Aug. 24: A minor school-student postponed her marriage by calling a toll-free number 1098 when the marriage-ritual was going on. She strongly wanted to continue her study rather than to be get married. The Child Line acted on the phone call. Shafikul Islam, an official of Child Line informed Hingalgunj PS and the BDO of Higalgunj. In a preemptive action the district administration of South 24 Parganas and Child Line postponed the child-marriage on Monday morning.
According to sources, a school-girl of 15, residing at Dakkhin Hatgachi under Basirhat Sub-division, had been decided to get marry with a man of 22, residing at Deuli village of the same block. The parents of the minor girl as usual arrived at the residence of the groom on Sunday night. But, after the ‘gaye halud’, a part of the marriage-ritual, the girl strongly denied to marry as she wanted to study more. She not only opposed, but made a phone-call to the toll-free number of the Child Line and narrated everything.
On Monday morning, the Higalgunj police team along with women constables, the BDO and the Child Line officials reached the home of the minor girl where pre-wedding celebrations were on. Police summoned the family to produce proof of age of the girl. The parents of the minor were not agreed to postpone the marriage ceremony. But the officials of the administration cleared that they were going against law and had to be punished.
The administration welcomed the girl’s strong morality and courageous attitude. They suggested the girl’s parents that the Government offered Rupashree, Kanyashree, so that the students could study more. Finally, the administration postponed the illegal ceremony until the girl attained marriageable age. The administration decided to promote an anti-child-marriage program, keeping the girl on the front-line.