A minor girl in Jharkhand who was to be forcibly married later this month displayed exemplary courage and sought help from police on Wednesday.
Sakina Kumari, 14, from Simdega’s Kullukera village, was to marry Abhisekh Nayak of Chhattisgarh’s Jaspur district on April 21. It was to be the last day of school for this Class 8 student and her resentment was growing.
The angst of discontinuing studies, parting with school friends, and the pain of losing her childhood forever stared her in the face. Half way through the school day, she had made up her mind — there was no way she was going through with the marriage.
Sakina gathered every ounce of courage she had and narrated her ordeal to her teacher, Brahmadutt Nayak, who took her to the police superintendent, Rajiv Ranjan Singh. What followed in the next couple of hours scripted history in Simdega.
Never before in this tribal district — more than 70% of the population here is tribal — had a schoolgirl protested against her parents’ decision and used the law against them.
“No sooner did the girl come to us appealing to prevent her marriage and sought asylum from us than we decided to adopt her,” said Singh. “Despite hailing from a remote village where children are clandestinely married off early, Sakina showed tremendous courage of conviction. We hail her bravado and pledge to help her in her studies till she finds a career of her own. We will be her guardians now.”
A police team went to Sakina’s home and arrested her parents.
By the time of filing this report, the police and the administration were making arrangements for Sakina to continue her studies at a Kasturba Gandhi Residential School.
Sakina dreams of one day becoming a police officer. Given that the Jharkhand government and the director general of police have announced that women will be given priority to fill vacancies in the force, her chances look good.