While Indian women are breaking barriers by winning medals, exploring art and cinema and threading on a patriarchal society, one cannot ignore a section still fighting for freedom from societal norms. One such norm that has been deeply rooted in society is child marriage. Protesting against the concept, over 45,000 vendors in Rajasthan have refused to rent out wedding supplies to families.
The Rajasthan Tent Dealers Kiraya Vyavsai Samiti, has taken upon themselves to verify the birth certificates of the bride and groom before they rent out their supplies. The tent vendors who wish to see an end to this awful practice in the state have turned their back to their customers. All the vendors who come under this community have unanimously decided to stay away from it and when such cases are reported, they inform the nearest police station as well, says an India Today report.
Ravi Jindal, the president of the group, told The Times of India,
If anyone comes to book us to supply the tent and do other decorations, we will ask for the birth certificate of the boy and girl to ensure it is not a child marriage. In case a person or group of persons give us wrong information, we will immediately inform the police and other government officials for the required intervention.
India which occupies the sixth position in the world in the number of child marriages reported redirects this statistics to states like Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. According to a census in 2011, of the 17 million children who are forced to marry in the ages of 10 to 19, 12.7 million are minor girls. The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 clearly states,
If a male has not completed 21 years of age, and if a female has not completed 18 years of age, then the marriage between the two is illegal and punishable by law.
According to UNICEF report in 2014, it will take another 50 years for child marriages to be abolished in India. This saddening status only demands a collective force that will implement and punish the offenders to save another young child from a premature marriage.