Child marriage victims suffer similar ordeal in Bajhang
Mar 21, 2018-Laxmi Dhami of Bhatekhola, Masta Rural Municipality in Bajhang district was married at the tender age of 14. Four years into the marriage, her husband married and brought home his second wife. Soon after, Dhami’s life took a turn for the worse.
“My in-laws started physically abusing me after my husband married another woman,” said Dhami, “I ran to district headquarters Chainpur fearing that they would beat me to death.”
Saying that her father-in-law took away her citizenship fearing that she would file a case against the family, Dhami said—“They (in-laws) threaten to kill me saying that I have an illicit affair with someone here in Chainpur. They did not let me stay inside the house and now I am here and they still threaten to kill me. I don’t know what to do.”
Dhami is living with her 5-year-old daughter in Chainpur and works as a daily wage labourer to make her ends meet.
The second story of Rudri Joshi of Jayprithvi Municipality-3, Bajhang is also similar to that of Dhami. Joshi was married off by her family at the age of 13. Her husband then went to Kathmandu to pursue education. When Joshi’s husband returned back he started beating her up and tried to kick her out of his house saying that her ‘black complexion did not suit him’.
The very next year Joshi’s husband married another woman in Kathmandu and brought the second wife home. Then her in-laws joined her husband and started assaulting Joshi physically. Unable to withstand the torture Joshi left the house and is now working as a stone crusher at the banks of Seti River in Chainpur for the past 2 years. She has filed a case at the court demanding part of her husband’s inheritance.
“My parents sinned on the name of religious-righteousness by marrying me at an early age,” said Joshi, “Now, I am bearing the brunt of their sins.”
Another story of Rajula Bohora of Daulichaur VDC in the district is no different to that of Dhami and Joshi. She also was married off by her parents when she was just 13 years old. Now, 28, Bohora feels the effects of the physical abuse carried out by her husband as her body constantly aches and with three child in eight years her lower abdomen is also troubling her. Doctors have said that there is a wound in her uterus but Bohora cannot afford treatment due to her poor financial situation.
Bohora, like Dhami and Joshi, was kicked out of her house following the second marriage by her husband. With all the physical problems she crushes stones at the banks of Bahuli Khola. With earnings from her work she manages to pay the tuition fees of his 6-year-old son, puts food on the table and pays her rent.
“I am alive because I love my son too much,” said Bohora, “If I could give the responsibility of my son to anyone else, I would jump into the Seti River and die.”
Published: 21-03-2018 13:54