Rekha, 12, Leads Revolt of India's Girl Brides

Rekha, 12, Leads Revolt of India’s Girl Brides

Rekha had seen the reality of child pregnancies: her sister Jyotsna had lost four babies before their first birthdays. Now, she may not be able to have any more children. “My sister’s experience was a lesson for me. I told my father very clearly that I was at the age where I should be going to school and that I didn’t want to get married,” said Rekha. In response, her father, Jagdish, stopped her food, water and soap for several days. Even her mother, Menaka, who had married at 10, was unsympathetic. So Rehka sought support from 12-year-old Budhamani and the girls went to their teacher, Arjun Pramanik, for help. After a month of reasoning with Rekha’s parents, Pramanik finally talked them round.

[quote=the article]Brides as young as 10 are commonplace in Bararolo village in the heart of rural West Bengal, where the literacy rates are among India’s lowest, but Rekha had decided her life would be different.

[quote=the article]Her story soon had an impact on the local community. “What is encouraging is that since Rekha’s revolt, in her village and surrounding villages there has not been a single child marriage,” said Prosenjit Kundu, assistant commissioner at the local government.

What an amazing story, and such hope for the future. Some traditions bring unwarranted human suffering and are best abandoned.

Seriously. You hear a lot in our culture about the evils of “Western imperialistic capitalism” (and some are quite real to be sure) but the diversity boosters rarely talk much about the dark sides of OTHER cultures.

A whole lotta places on earth make me realize just how good we have it in the USA.

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