Police campaign prevents two child marriages in a week

Dolakha, July 25

At least two cases of child marriage have been averted in the past one week after Nepal Police launched a campaign against this practice in Dolakha.

Police took Paras Thami, 19, and a 13-year-old girl under control in Lakuridanda, Bhimeshwor Municipality, while they were preparing to elope today. “The duo was arrested from a cave in a forest,” informed District Police Office Dolakha.

Earlier, security personnel had stopped another child marriage at Baiteshwor Rural Municipality of the district.

Suman Khadka of the locality was preparing to tie the knot with a 15-year-old girl due to pressure from their parents. However, security personnel intervened, according to District Police Office Dolakha DSP Rameshwor Karki.

DSP Karki said instances of child marriage had increased due to conservative social norms and values and lack of awareness. “Hence, we have intensified the campaign to stop it,” he said. Child activist Rajan Basnet said child marriage was more prevalent among the Dalits and ethnic nationalities. He said such marriages were taking place mainly due to lack of education, social taboos and pressure from friends.

Child marriage is deeply rooted among the Thami Community in the district as it appears that early marriage is a part of their social values. “The parents themselves encourage minors to tie the knot at an early age in the name of appeasing gods and goddesses,” said Bal Bahadur Thami, a local.