Child marriage, Nepal: 5 & already a bride

Just five and already a bride

It is already a year ever since she was married off but Chhotani Marik, 5, of Bhathiganj area has no idea what marriage is, what being a wife means or that she is a daughter-in-law.

Latala Marik of Khoksar VDC-7, after having married off his elder daughter, Pabitakumari, had his younger daughter, Chhotani married with Asuwa Marik of Bhathiganj last year. After the ceremonies, Chhotani followed her husband to his house towing a piglet that she received as dowry. “I only know that I am in somebody else’s house. But whose, I don’t know,” said Chhotani in childish innocence.

The secret behind early marriage in this community, also known as ‘dum’ is the low cost involved according to Latala, the girl’s father. Getting your daughters married off once they are grown up incurs huge expenditure. How do you expect to spend a large sum in a marriage when you have problems feeding yourselves?” questions the father. In the marriage of his first daughter, he invited only 12 guests, bought 40 kg. meat, 20 litres of locally made alcohol and 200 kg. rice and that ended the feast, according to the father. People in this community give away pigs and metal mugs as dowry in marriages.

It is poverty and lack of awareness that child marriage is still rampant in this community,” said Yukti Marik, a social worker of the community.

Source: Kathmandu Post


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