In Andhra, 13-year-old boy marries 23-year-old woman to fulfil mother’s wish
The mother, who happens to be terminally ill, wanted an adult woman in the family to handle household chores after her demise.
A 13-year-old boy was married off to a woman ten years his senior at Upparahal village in Andhra Pradesh’s Kurnool district late last month, police said on Saturday.
Local residents said the ceremony was conducted because the boy’s terminally ill mother wanted the family to have an adult woman capable of performing household chores after her demise.
Although the boy’s marriage with the 23-year-old woman was allegedly solemnised at their residence on April 27, local authorities came to know about it only after photographs of the ceremony went viral on the social media.
The bride happened to be the daughter of a couple from Chanikanur village in Karnataka’s Bellary district. Both the families have reportedly gone missing ever since the bizarre nuptial ceremony came to light. A team of government officials led by district women development and child welfare officer Sharada and local tahsildar Srinivasa Rao visited Upparahal to probe the wedding, only to find their house locked.
Local residents said the terminally ill woman and her husband are agricultural labourers who lead a hand-to-mouth existence. “As the woman’s husband is an alcoholic, she was worried that nobody would be there to take care of the family after her death. She believed that the family would at least have somebody to take care of domestic chores if her eldest son was married off to an adult woman,” a neighbour said on the condition of anonymity, adding that the couple has two sons and two daughters.
It was then that the woman heard from a couple of relatives in a neighbouring Karnataka village who also wanted to get their daughter married off. She contacted them, and the two families decided to go ahead with the marital alliance. According to the invitation card, the wedding began on April 23 with prayers being offered to village deities and ended at 3.05 am on April 27.
“The marriage will be cancelled as it is not valid as per law. If the parents do not hand the bride and the groom over to the district authorities within two days, we will a file a case against them,” said tahsildar Srinivasa Rao.
The boy’s parents could not be reached for comment as their mobile phone was switched off.