Jaipur: In Rajasthan child marriages continue to be a rampant practice. But 17-year-old Lakshmi has just stepped out of what seemed like a nightmare. Lakshmi was told only weeks back that she was married off when she was two years old and now she must go to her husband's home.
But she has sought the help of social workers to have her illegal marriage annulled. She wants to study, and despite threats from her so-called in-laws, she stands firm.
"I told them I will not go there. They began to threaten with forcibly taking me along. I spoke to my sisters-in-law and other people in the village to seek intervention to annul my marriage," Lakshmi said.
But not every girl has Lakshmi's courage. In Rajasthan child marriage is still a reality, specially around Akshaya Tritiya which is considered an auspicious day. Despite a stringent law in place since 2006 the government claims there's not much it can do.
Rajasthan comes only next to Jharkhand in child marriages being solemnised here. Ironically at least one third of the ministers and about half of the legislators in Rajasthan got married as children. The question is for how long will the vote bank considerations prevail over political will to stop child marriages in Rajasthan.