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At 8-year-old Fathima Mangre from India, becomes world's youngest divorcee. Here's her story.
At 8-year-old Fathima Mangre from India, becomes world’s youngest divorcee. Here’s her story.
Though child marriage is legally banned in India, yet according to UN, India has the second highest rate of child marriages in South Asia. When it comes to the child protection, India still has a long way to go. These marriages happen with the consent of the parents and due to economic backwardness, it is taken as a way of reducing the family expenses.
In another case of child marriage, Fathima Mangre, aged four, from Shravasti District of Uttar Pradesh was married to Arjun Bakridi, who was just 10-year-old.
After the marriage, Fathima stayed with her parents. When she turned 8-year-old, her in-laws came to take her. But to Fathima’s luck, her father had a change of heart. He refused to send Fathima with her in-laws and insisted that she stayed with her parents till she is 18 years old. That created a huge furor with the boy’s family. They refused to take a no, for an answer.
That is when Fathima’s father took the wisest decision and filed for a divorce. Fathima was finally granted a divorce in 2013, making her world’s youngest divorcee at the tender age of 8. But it should be mentioned that the divorce finally came through, after the intervention of National Women Commission.
Anil Mangre in an interview said, “I finally realized that this practice of marrying off daughters so young was wrong and that she should have a childhood and that it was my duty to provide that.”
But the National Commission of Women has threatened action against both set of parents.
“I have already admitted my mistake. Social pressures are high in our village. But the marriage has been annulled. I have admitted it was wrong to marry her off so early. I now want to make things right. I want to give my daughter a good childhood. I will do everything to protect her,” said Anil Mangre.
It should be noted that Uttar Pradesh from where Fathima hails, child marriages are higher than the national average and also the literacy rate of girls in Fathima’s district, Shravasti, is just 19%.
Now after Fathima’s divorce her father wants her to have an education and a life of her own, which is a ray of hope for many girls like Fathima.
Cover image via Twitter
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There are many mountains I need to climb just to be, just to live my life, just to have my say... because they are mountains you've built to oppress women.
Trigger Warning: This deals with various kinds of violence against women including rape, and may be triggering for survivors.
I haven’t climbed a literal mountain yet
Was busy with the metaphorical ones – born a woman
Fighting for the air that should have come free
And I am one of the privileged ones, I realize that
Yet, if I get passionate, just like you do
I will pay for it – with burden, shame, – and possibly a life to carry
So, my mountains are the laws you overturn
My mountains are the empty shelves where there should have been pills
When people picked my dadi to place her on the floor, the sheet on why she lay tore. The caretaker came to me and said, ‘Just because you touched her, one of the men carrying her lost his balance.’
The death of my grandmother shattered me. We shared a special bond – she made me feel like I was the best in the world, perfect in every respect.
Apart from losing a person who I loved, her death was also a rude awakening for me about the discrimination women face when it comes to performing the last rites of their loved ones.
On January 23 this year, I lost my 95 year old grandmother (dadi) Nirmala Devi to cardiac arrest. She was that one person who unabashedly praised me. The evening before her death she praised the tea I had made and said that I make better tea than my brother (my brother and I are always competing about who makes the best chai).
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