Urma Bishnoi was under tremendous mental pressure due to her in-laws' misbehaviour. (Representative)
Married off at the tender age of 10 months, Urma Bishnoi had to tolerate the tortures of being in a child marriage for 18 years, facing threats when she resisted. On Tuesday, she eventually mustered her courage and moved court to annul the marriage.
"I do not accept the marriage. I want to study and make my future," Urma, now 19, told IANS.
Ms Bishnoi is from Kaparda village of Jodhpur. In 1999, she was married off to a boy of the same village. As she grew up, she refused to accept the marriage. But her in-laws started pressurising her and her family to accept the relationship and even threatened to cut off their nose and ears.
Meanwhile, Ms Bishnoi learnt about a child marriage annulment campaign being run by Kriti Bharti, managing trustee and rehabilitation psychologist, Saarthi Trust Jodhpur.
She contacted Bharti for annulment of her child marriage and filed a plea in the family court-1 of Jodhpur.
"With the help of Kriti didi, I have filed the case. I am hopeful of getting justice soon," she said, adding earlier she was "frightened with the regular threats by my so-called in-laws".
"But now I am confident and look forward to the start of a fresh life where I can study and make a future of my own."
Ms Bharti, whose trust has annulled 35 child arriages in India and prevented thousands of them, told IANS that Bishnoi was under tremendous mental pressure due to her in-laws' misbehaviour.
"Efforts are being made for annulment of child marriage and her rehabilitation. On the other hand, her in-laws and caste panchayats are constantly pressurising and terrorising Urma and her family to take back the case," she said.
Despite stringent norms being introduced, child marriage continues to haunt this part of India. The numbers allegedly increase on Akshaya Tritiya, falling on April 18 this year.