Nepal | October 23, 2020

14-year old gives birth to baby boy

Underage parents face hard time registering marriage, child’ s birth

Himalayan News Service
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Dhading, May 8

The minimum legal age for marriage is 20 years for girls and boys in the country.

However, Pabitra Tamang, 14 and Ramesh Tamang, 13, from far-flung Chepangchet of Rubey Valley Rural Municipality in Dhading have become parents.

Ramesh is a fifth grader at Tingchet Basic School in his village. While studying at the same school, he fell in love with Pabitra a year ago. Pabitra quit her studies when she was in Grade IV.

Even before a year had passed since affair between them started, Pabitra gave birth to a baby boy two months ago. The news spread to many villages and the district headquarters drawing a lot of concern and interest.

Both Ramesh and Pabitra have not gained maturity.

But, a great responsibility has fallen on their shoulders.

With the birth of the child, they have the legal challenge of registering their marriage and the child’s birth.

Rubey valley Rural Municipality Ward No 5 Chair Dhiraj Tamang said registering the parents’ marriage and the child’s birth was legally impossible as both were underage despite the fact that registration of the child’s birth is an inherent right.

In spite of becoming parents, the couple has not tied the knot as their marriage will not be recognised due to their underage status.

Locals say that a boy considers a girl he likes as his wife and marries her later in the Tamang community.

Though the newborn is said to be healthy, both of his hands do not have middle fingers.

Acting Chief at District Health Office Dhading Bishnu Rijal said that lack of nutritious food would hit the health of the newborn as the child would not get enough breastfeeding.

A version of this article appears in print on May 09, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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