Bride at 14 years! Class VII girl saved from being married off

Baripada: An attempt to marry a minor girl studying in class VII went kaput when the authorities of the district child protection unit raided the marriage and took the girl into custody.

The incident occurred in Sunamunhi Sahi on the outskirts of Baripada town, when the minor girl was being taken to the Shiva Temple based in Munindar inside Similipal sanctuary where all the preparations for the marriage were in place.

However, somehow the child protection unit got a whiff and conducted a raid at the place and the rescued the minor girl.

“We received a call at around 11 AM today and immediately informed the child rescue team. The child line also informed the Baripada police about the matter following which a joint team went to the spot and rescued the child. The girl is 14 years old and was studying in class VII. We have produced the rescued girl before the child welfare committee. The child was counselled and expressed her interest to study further.  We will make all possible arrangements from the administration to rehabilitate the girl. After being produced before the welfare committee it has been ordered to keep the girl at a child care unit for the time being,” said district child protection officer, Mamatamayi Biswal.

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It is learnt that the girl belonging to a poor family was being married off early to get rid of a ‘burden’. However the father of the girl refuted it saying, “We found the groom to be a nice and eligible person and keeping in mind his family background we wanted to marry off my daughter,” said the father of the girl.

The groom and his family members did not turn up at the venue after coming to know about the action taken by the child protection unit.

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