Child-brides who do not even know their husbands’ names

Tika R Pradhan

Kapilvastu, June 4:

A second grader at the Shree Laxmi Primary School of Tenui of Sisawa VDC-4, Nandani Kohar, is merely nine. She joined school after she got married a few weeks ago. “I don’t know his (husband’s) name. I just know that I am married to a boy from Munahari, east of Taulihawa,” Nandani told this daily in her native language Awadhi with the help of her teacher Kanchi Maya Pandey. Another minor, Leelawati Pasi, 9, also got married recently with a boy from Karailiya of Hardauna VDC. She also does not know her husband’s name. Third grader at Shree Ram Janaki Primary School, Pasi said had no idea what marriage was all about. “It’s the culture that girls are not allowed to see their husbands but the boy can see his bride’s face blindfolded,” said Sunita Giri, a teacher at Chuda Kumari Primary School, who also recounted her own experience of being a child-bride. “Our society frowns if girls don’t get married off on time. Girls who opt for marrying later in life, do not get to marry later. So it’s sort of reserving the girl,” said Gyanmati Girir of Singaraha of Kajarhawa VDC-9, adding that they fix the Dahej (dowry) very day of Bibaha.