Monday, September 15, 2014

Here’s why you should not marry your daughters early

I had earlier written about my household help’s youngest daughter taking to school and computer classes eagerly despite all odds @ this post http://yojanasharma.blogspot.in/2012/06/just-another-reason-why-life-just.html

This girl came to visit me yesterday. She drops in occasionally at my place to pick old magazines. I have a one year old running around the house and keeping magazines on table is like inviting him to tear off the magazine and reading leisurely is the last thing on my agenda these days. Just to get rid of the guilt of not reading magazines, I feel happy in lending them to the maid’s daughter who will learn some new things from that stash.

This girl is barely 17, tall, lanky and decently dressed always. She smiles very rarely but has an intelligent gleam in her eyes. Besides the magazine, she doesn’t talk much. This time however she had a polite request.

Initially, I didn’t hear it properly. I turned around and inquired about the request. She had spotted my son’s walker kept alongside rags under the staircase. He has grown from that phase of taking initial steps and doesn’t need the walker anymore. She inquired about its usage with my kid. I replied negative, “he doesn’t need it now. Its just occupying space here”. She replied, “If you don’t mind, can you please lend this for my sister’s son. He is 6 months old and has started taking his first steps, we cant’s afford to buy this for him, and its required just for few months”.

I knew for sure that the elder two sisters work along with the mother to make a living. The one in question – is the second daughter – is barely 19, was married around 2012 in a haste. Then, the mother, had come asking for gifts. And this year she has a 6 months old kid!

What is with Indians and marrying girls early? Here was one daughter who was married very young, had a kid and was fighting daily battles to earn two square meals for her family. She was looking for a walker for her kid, while the other one was more fortunate, had little education and was looking for magazines to gain education and move up in life.

Girls who are married off early become mothers soon and things like education, freedom of thought, decent lifestyle, food, health, nutrition and making it big in life comes to a halt. Girls who study further have a chance to take up jobs, earn salary, support their families, gain self-confidence, have a decent lifestyle and make happy and healthy mothers later.

Of course I gave away the walker but this is just the beginning of a dark road for this mother. What starts with borrowing a walker, becomes a struggle for decent schooling and living later. And the only person who suffers in this situation is the woman of the house.

Time to think guys, lets talk about it among our own circle. If we can change the fate of one such would be young mother then it’s a job well done. What say?