Last week, Rekha, now 17, was in the news again following reports of her marriage to Manindra Kalindi, 27. While Rekha denied the reports, her relatives, school teachers and villagers said the couple had got married in a local temple in January 2011 and lived together in Manindra’s house in Bakat village, about 20 kilometres from Bararoli.
Admitting this, Manindra’s mother, Suchandra, said: “They lived in our house as husband and wife. They are in love with each other, what’s wrong with that?’’
But Rekha, who shifted to her sister’s house in Shyampur village, about 25 kilometres from Bararola, last week, denied reports of her marriage, claiming that she would marry Manindra after her Class X board exam. “I love him, but I want to study and appear for my Class X board exam,’’ she said.
She has completed her Class VIII from Vivekananda Madhyamik Shiksha Kendra in Bakat. Since the school only offers studies till Class VIII, Rekha has to look for another school now.
“I have seen her with her husband many times, they used to live together in Bakat village. She may have got married because of sheer poverty and parental pressure. But since she became famous for her fight against child marriage, she does not want to disclose this,” said Pratiram Mahato, headmaster of Vivekananda Madhyamik Shiksha Kendra.
According to sources in the district administration, this is Manindra’s third marriage. His financial condition is reported to be worse than Rekha’s, who receives an annual stipend from the Centre for resisting child marriage.
“She gets Rs 14,000 annually and does not want to lose out on that. That may probably be the reason why she is hiding her marriage,’’ said an official.
Manindra could not be contacted despite several attempts. In Bararola villager, her parents’ house was locked.
Budhamani Kalindi, one of her neighbours, recalled how Rekha had fought against her marriage in 2007. “Although her father, Jagdish Kalindi, did not give her food and water, she stood firm. She then told her father that she would only marry after turning 18, so I don’t know why she married so early,’’ he said.
When we met Rekha at her Bararola village %u2013 she was a %u201Cbrave girl%u201D. A role model for those %u2013 who want to go school %u2013 not an immature mom. We wasted our time in this remote Purulia village. I have a feel that her father Mr. Jagadish Kalindi may pressurise Rekha to marry Manindra who had already married twice. When we interviewed Rekha %u2013 she was just 12. Very sad %u2013 today her cause was dead. Thanks Indian Express Correspondent for her brilliant coverage.
Recently supreme court ruled that Muslim girls can marry at 16 as per muslim laws. So in India, minors are defined by religion. If she was a muslim, it would not have been a crime.
Many people have been objecting monetary assistance to girls who claim harassment. This is absolutely logical demand, as providing monetary assistance just on the basis of a claim without actually verifying its genuineness will lead to drastic rise in false claims just to get the monetary benefits, without giving a second thought to whose life will be turned to hell without any fault just because some woman named him in the fake harassment complaint. This new The women was getting monetary assistance in order for preventing child marriage has married but still denying the marriage so as to keep getting the money from government. Which is blatant misuse of the assistance meant for victims but being used by unscrupulous women who pose to be victims. Some people may still discard this saying that government is funding so many thing so it may not lose much by giving some money to these victims. But this is not the problem. The problem is when life of a man gets screwed, just imagine a girl out of nowhere who you do not know accuses you of harassment just for government funds and you land up in prison for no fault, which is just a start of your sufferings because mind you life of a rape accused even in false case changes forever....