Child marriage is rampant in Musikot Village of Swamikartik Khapar Rural Municipality, Bajura.

A local, Bal Bahadur BK, said many young boys and girls get married before 15 years of age and become parents of by the age of 20. As many as 400 families live in the village. The village is recognised for its abject poverty. Most of the children in the village are deprived of opportunities for higher studies due to lack of colleges in the area. The children are compelled to quit their studies after the completion of Grade X. Locals said that the children's first choice was to get married after the completion of Grade X.

The villagers said that children in the village rarely complete their secondary level education and cannot go for foreign employment due to lack of money. They said that most of the children quit their studies quite early. A student at Chandannath Basic Level School Padam BK said that he could not complete his studies due to poor financial condition.

Similarly, Shova BK, got married when she was 18 before completing Grade X studies. She said that she was fivemonths pregnant. Her friend also got married when she was just 17 and was six-months pregnant. Shova said that all her seven friends were married.

Pasuri BK said she had completed Grade X but could not pursue higher studies and thus decided to get married.

"We do not have money to buy study materials," she said. Locals said that as many as 30 children got married within this year. They said that child marriage in the village was common.

Man Bir BK, a social activist, said that most of the boys go to India for jobs after getting married.

A version of this article appears in the print on April 11 2021, of The Himalayan Times.