Another child marriage annulled in Jodhpur

Jodhpur: A Jodhpur court on Wednesday liberated a 19-year-old girl from the clutches of child matrimony, annulling her marriage.

Papli, daughter of a truck driver from Agolai village, was married to Jasaram from Dudubera village in November 2015 when she was just 16.

However, she did not accept the alliance imposed on her and refused to live with her husband. Her in-laws approached the community panchayat, which threatened her family with ostracisation and a monetary penalty.

“Frightened, my father threatened to hang himself. My relatives too exerted pressure on us,” she says.

Fighting a lonely battle, it was a newspaper story that brought a ray of hope in Papli’s life. The story detailed Dr Kriti Bharti and her Saarthi Trust’s fight against child marriage and their efforts to rehabilitate the victims.

Papli contacted Bharti, managing trustee & rehabilitation psychologist of Saarthi Trust.

“Saarthi gave me the confidence and the hope that I have a right to live. Kriti didi counseled me and my family. Eventually, some of my relatives came out in my support. Didi also counseled some of my community leaders. Eventually, with their assistance, I filed a petition in the Jodhpur family court to annul my marriage. Kriti didi also ensured my security. She also appeared for me in the court,” says Papli.

After hearing the arguments, Judge PK Jain annulled Papli’s marriage on Wednesday.

Speaking to IANS, Papli said, “My marriage ruined my life but Kriti didi has given me a new life. Now I will study and will stand on my own feet.

Bharti said, “Best efforts are being made for better rehabilitation of Papli after the annulment of her marriage. She is being educated and also trained in skills. Some community leaders are still pressurizing her family. If needed, judicial action will be taken.