Minister for a day in Rajasthan, the trio who walked out of child marriage

The women also signed a note sheet ordering to distribute 10,500 smartphones among anganwari workers and 282 Android tablets to woman supervisors of anganwari centres

jaipur Updated: Jan 24, 2017 20:47 IST
P Srinivasan
P Srinivasan
Hindustan Times
Rajasthan WCD minister Anita Bhadel with Garima Award winners who were made minister for a day, at her s office in Jaipur on Tuesday. (HT Photo)

Jaipur: One of them got married at the age of six and another at the age of 15. Parents of the third had fixed her marriage soon after she turned 16. This, however, is not the only factor that unites them. The trio --Jasoda Gameti (18) of Rajsamand district, and Sona Bairwa (23) and Preeti Kanwar (21) of Tonk district – took on their parents and in-laws and obtained freedom.

To honour them, the girls were made a minister for a day on Tuesday. They even signed a note sheet ordering to distribute smart phones among the anganwari workers and android tablets to woman supervisors of anganwari centres.

Woman and child development minister Anita Bhadel, at a state level function on National Girl Child Day, also felicitated Gameti, Bairwa and Kanwar.

Bhadel said the objective of making them minister for a day was to send out the message that daughters were no less than boys. The gesture would also inspire other girls to study and pursue their dreams with passion. The girls should be allowed to study, as childhood is for education and nutrition, and not marriage, Bhadel added.

She said, the girls were told how the government departments function. They were also briefed about the process involved in issuing an order. Bhadel said the three girls have signed a note sheet and an order will be issued to distribute 10,500 smart phones to anganwari workers and 282 android tablets to 282 anganwari supervisors.

Gameti told the media that she was married off at the age of 15 and her in-laws used to beat and harass her. She said, her in laws used to send her to her parents house who in turn would send her back after some time. “I got fed up with this routine and decided to walk out of marriage. The caste panchs wanted me to go back to my in-laws. I threatened to file a case under child marriage law after which the caste panchs agreed to a compromise and I was allowed to walk out of the marriage,” Gameti said. Now she stays with her mother and works as labourer. She has decided not to allow any child marriage in her village.

Similarly, Bairwa was married off when she was six-years-old. She saw the condition of other girls who were married at young age and decided to pursue higher education. When her in-laws asked her to move in with them, Bairwa refused stating that she would first complete her studies and get a job before joining her husband. She even told her in-laws that can either wait for her or go for a divorce. Last year, her husband opted for divorce and matter is in the court. She has completed her BEd and is now preparing for Grade-II teacher’s exam.

Kanwar’s parents had fixed her marriage when she was 16. She, however, refused to get married decided to complete her studies. Today she has completed her graduation and works as teacher. She has stopped many child marriages in her village.

First Published: Jan 24, 2017 20:47 IST