Ring the Bell - Child Marriages!

This piece of fiction is written in response to Indibloggers "Ring the Bell" cause.

68.9 percent of the marriages in Bihar involve girls below the age of 18! You can be a part of the change by telling us how YOU will Ring The Bell, and inspiring your readers to do the same. What action will you take to bring violence against women to a halt? Blog about your experiences, your intentions, and make a promise! 

 Blog about the "Ring the Bell" cause, and for every 50 entries received, One lakh INR will be donated towards training self-help groups, community-based organizations and youth in the state of Bihar.


She was married to a forest officer for more than 10 years now. The postings were invariably in  dense
jungles with no signs of humanity in vicinity. In initial days of marriage - the virgin nature, verdant greens everywhere, the peeking of deers, peacock n other species from just across the lawn delighted her senses. But soon lack of human contact coupled with lack of technology crippled her lifestyle!

The idea of moving back to her hometown where she could pursue a meaningful career has stuck her quite often. But she has seen instances where forest officers- out of sheer loneliness - have taken in the wives of their cook\gardner\housekeeper  as concubines - the horror of it playing out in her own life had made her decide otherwise. Out of necessity, the families of the plethora of workers working in the forest bungalow became her social lifeline. Soon she got involved in the mechanics of their daily life.

One of the first things to strike her was  that while on official records the cook- Gardner - housekeeper
was always a man - his wife seemed to be the one actually getting the work done. The wives dint mind warming the beds of their master just to take home a wee bit extra money. Invariably, the husbands spent their day getting wasted on cheap spirit. It didn't take much time for her to realize that these men held the job on virtue of having passed their matriculation while the wives were all married off as soon as they hit puberty and so dint  even read or write! Another perennial problem she realised is that the men lost their lives pretty early thanks to the alcholism -  post that the Young widows(mostly in their early 20s) didn't have any many means of livelihood and many opted to become the the 'keep' for local landlords!

This issue rattled her for few days - After some mulling over, she decided to start small and took her husband into confidence. The 'saahib' threatened and bribed his cook into letting him take care of his teenage daughters education and not marry her off for the next 5 years. After a bit of hand-twisting, the cook had no option but to comply.The girl was sent off to the neighbouring town where she trained to become a 'Anganwaadi' worker. She also happened to meet her future husband there - a co-worker

In the meantime, the forest officer had got transferred to another corner of India. Few years later when she returned to that small hamlet, it warmed her heart to see that the cooks daughter and her husband were running the first anganwadi in that remote jungle. The girl was now financially independent and happily married while her friends were stuck in the vicious cycle of early marriage - alcoholic husbands -prostitution! But seeing how differently their friends life had played out, they slowly buy surely learnt the importance of educating their daughter and gradually there was as well a decrease in the child marriages in the village......

Child marriages are such a sad reality in India, especially in the rural areas.Now this thou is a fictional piece has a few things that can make a definite 'Change' - May be all we need is somebody to show them the difference education and self-independence can make to their lives, take education to their door step - make it accessible to them and lead by example!  I I am also hopeful, of a better tomorrow, when education would have deepened its roots and strengthened some more families and enabled them to break out of this evil.


  1. Good initiative by IB and kudos to you for having written on this.

  2. I very recently went on CSR assessment for my company and so I could somewhere relate to a lot of things you mentioned. I visited an angadwadi and I must say this is govt's great initiatives in providing livelihood to woman and yet ensuring better living standards for villagers.

    A wonderfully written post for Indichange kudos!


  3. I recently visited an angadwadi on part of CSR assessment for my company and I know that they are honestly a great initiative. A great post for Indichange :-)


  4. I have visited similar places in Andhra Pradesh, where not just the wives but daughters too were being sold into prostitution. Education is the only way out. This is a fantastic article, Meena.

  5. It's so heartening to hear how one small case can have such a big impact! Nice write-up, Meena!