Schools shut, tribal kids led into child marriage

Child marriage
Lockdowns in the wake of the Covid-19 contagion have led to a spurt in child labour | Photo: Shameen Alauddin

“Barely two weeks into our marriage, he started coming home drunk, assaulting me, and forcing himself on me. When I got pregnant, the abuse got worse,” recounts Sabita.

Sabita, 14, is six months pregnant. Until nine months before she was married to 21-year-old Ganga in December 2020, she had been a Class 7 student at an ashramshala (residential school) in Odisha's Jajpur district. She will discontinue her education to bring up her child.


“I was in love and did not know what was right for me. I made a mistake. Now I don’t know what to do,” rues Asha.

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