Meet Mandya girl who averted forcible child marriage

C R Kavyashri

The grit of a minor girl, C R Kavyashri, who averted a forcible child marriage, with the help of the child helpline ‘1098’, is an inspiration to many.

The incident occurred just four months ago. Ramegowda and Savithramma of Chattenahalli in KR Pet taluk decided to marry off their daughter, 15-year-old Kavyashri, and even fixed the marriage. They had three more daughters and deemed them to be a burden. But, Kavyashri, who had secured 80% in SSLC exams, wanted to pursue studies and was not ready for marriage.

At the government high school at Sheelanere, she excelled in debate, essay competitions and bagged several prizes. Her appeal to stop the marriage was not taken seriously by her parents, who decided to get her married off, secretly, in a temple. Then, Kavyashri remembered the magic number ‘1098’, which saved her from the unwanted, illegal, marriage.

She garnered courage and called up the helpline number 1098 and alerted the officials about the arrangements made for the marriage and that she was a minor.

Child Protection Committee members acted swiftly, rushed to her house, along with Kavyashri’s teacher, and stopped the marriage, by explaining to Ramegowda couple that child marriage is illegal and a crime.

Now, Kavyashri is studying I PUC at Sheelanere Government PU College. Speaking to DH, she said, “Once the school authorities had explained about child helpline and had given its number during morning prayer. I had written the number on a book. It helped me, during the crisis. The helpline rescued me from the unwanted marriage. I am happy to continue my studies.”

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