Rescued From Marriage At 15, She Wants To Be Doctor. You Can Help

After becoming a doctor, I will help those who don't have money, said the 15-year-old who was forced to marry as her parents could not pay house rent

They put pressure on my mother, that is why I agreed to marry, said the 15-year-old

Hyderabad: She displays remarkable determination to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor, despite all that she was made to go through. A fortnight ago, the 15-year-old who was being forcibly married to a physically challenged 38-year-old man was rescued as the ceremony was in progress at a temple in Hyderabad.

The girl --- who had just passed her Class 10 board exams with 85 per cent marks -- was promised to the man after her parents failed to pay rent to his parents for months.

After she was rescued by the police and officials of the child welfare committee, the teenager --- the eldest of the three siblings --- was first shifted to a government home in Hyderabad and later to a hostel. Her family continues to live in the same rented house so sending her home may not have been safe.

NDTV met the teenager who said she agreed to marry only because her family was under tremendous pressure.

"They forced my mother and I felt bad about the pressure on my mother. That is why I agreed to marry. But I don't know who complained. I am grateful to whoever did and saved me", she said.

A case has already been filed against the groom and his parents under the Prevention of Child Marriage Act. No case was lodged against the girl's mother as she has two young children, aged 7 and 8. The father of the girl had opposed the marriage but could not stop it. Four years ago, the girl's parents, migrant labourers from Odisha, came to Hyderabad looking for work.

The 15-year-old said she was trying to put the past behind her and looking forward to a future when she can help those who desperately need it.

"After becoming a doctor, I will help orphans and those who don't have money. People who are very unwell, they die because of not having money. I will treat them for free and save them", she said.

On NDTV's request, Ranga Reddy district collector Raghunandan has opened a bank account on behalf of the minor girl. Those who wish to help can write to --- RR District Collectorate, 177, Ladikapool, Hyderabad.
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