Jaipur: Married at the age of just seven, a 19-year-old ‘Balika Vadhu’ of Rajasthan’s Bhilwara district finally got freedom from the clutches of child marriage after 12 years.
The Child bride, Mansi had knocked the family court in Bhilwara and pleaded for annulment of her child marriage. Hearing her plight, the Family Court Judge Harivallabh Khatri showed sensitivity and gave a strong message against child marriage by pronouncing a historic verdict of annulment of Mansi’s child marriage.
Mansi, originally a resident of Paldi in Bhilwara district, was married at the age of seven in 2009 to a groom, who was a resident of Baneda Tehsil. For about 12 years, she suffered the brunt of child marriage. During this, pressure was constantly made from the caste ‘Panchayat’ and others to get the ‘Gauna’ (a ceremony associated with the consummation of marriage) done. There were also many threats issued to the family.
Meanwhile, Mansi, after getting information about Dr. Kriti Bharti’s campaign being run via the Saarthi Trust to annul child marriages, contacted her for annulment of her marriage. Dr. Kriti came to Bhilwara from Jodhpur and filed a case of Mansi’s child marriage annulment in the family court in March this year.
Dr. Kriti Bharti appeared along with Mansi in the family court of Bhilwara, and made the court aware of the facts related to the child marriage.
The Judge of the Family Court, Harivallabh Khatri, delivered a historic verdict annulling the marriage of Mansi, which was solemnized 12 years ago at the tender age of just seven.
The order gave Mansi freedom from the bond of child marriage. Judge Khatri, while giving a strong message to the society against child marriage, said that the bondage of child marriage spoils both the present and future of the innocent children.
Mansi told IANS, “With the help of Dr. Kriti Bharti Didi, I have got freedom from the exile of child marriage. I am studying for my second year BA and now I want to study further and become a teacher.”
Kriti Bharti-Rehabilitation Psychologist, Managing Trustee, Saarthi Trust, Jodhpur said, “Family Court Bhilwara gave a historic verdict to annul Mansi’s child marriage. Honourable Judge Harivallabh Khatri Sir showed sensitivity on the issue of child marriage and annulled the marriage. We are now striving for the best rehabilitation of Balika Vadhu Mansi.”