She Was Married Off When She Was Just 11-Months-Old. 19 Years Later, She Is Happily Unmarried
Published: Oct 26, 2015

After a long time Santa Devi Meghwal slept early , and also longer on Tuesday . Little had she expected that her appeal and her wish to annul her child marriage would fructify so soon. On Tuesday, magistrate at the family court, Prithvi Raj Sharma, declared Santa’s child marriage as finally annulled after she moved the court on May 13, about five months back.

“I had a heavy burden on my head and today I feel quite relieved,” exclaimed Santa, who is 20 now, as she came out of the court with tears of joy in her eyes after the court pronounced the order.

Hailing from Rohichan Khurd village in Luni tehsil of Jodhpur, Santa, was married off at the age of 11 months in a “mausar” ceremony , which is held after a death of some relative in rural areas, to one nine-year-old Sanwal Ram.

“But when Santa learnt about it three years back at a family function, she resisted and convinced her parents to walk out of this matrimony ,” said Kriti Bharti of Sarthi Trust, who Santa approached to help her annul her marriage. Her decision and move to annul her marriage that was solemnized in her infancy , irked the members of local cast panchayat of her village. The panchayat members soon slapped a fine of whopping Rs 16 lakh on her and threatened to ostracize the family from the community , shared Bharti. “First we tried to talk to her husband Sanwal Ram and her in-laws with a hope to file for annulment with mutual consent. But when the boy’s family remained adamant about continuing with the matrimony , we had to move the court,” Bharti said.

“During the entire process of annulment plea, those who were against, gradually turned supportive or indiffe rent, which helped us achieve our objective smoothly ,” said Bharti.

Now the priority of Santa who is pursuing graduation in arts, is to complete her gra duation next year and then begin her preparation to be come a teacher.

The original version of this post can be found here.