Five-year-old bride and nine-year-old groom rescued

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 - 13:15

A five-year-old child and her nine-year-old groom were rescued by India’s Child Welfare department, just as they stood at the altar. The event took place as a ritual. 

Children's Rights activist Achyuta Rao from the charity Balala Hakkula Sangham said: "As per their custom, no relative will enter their house after the death of a family member unless they perform an 'auspicious event' and celebrate it."

India's Child Welfare Department raided the ceremony and carried the sobbing girl into protective custody; the raid came as children's charities across India increase pressure on government welfare officials to stamp out child marriages.

Police are said to have counseled the parents who married the children because there was a death in the household. 

In February this year, two priests were arrested after they wed their 15-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter in Hyderabad, to increase "family prosperity", and a 14-year-old told how she escaped her marriage to a man four (4) times her age. 

According to activists, 25 cases of minors being rescued from child marriages were reported in 2016 in Hyderabad alone, while many more cases go unreported.