New Delhi – After submitting evidence from her husband’s Facebook page, Sushila Bishnoi, 19, has proven in court that she was married when she was still a minor.
With the help of Kriti Bharti, a child rights activist, Bishnoi appealed to a court in Rajastan state to dissolve her marriage. Despite it being illegal, underage marriage is prevalent in many parts of rural India.
According to Bishnoi, they were married when they were both 12 years old at a secret wedding ceremony in 2010.
Bishnoi’s husband denied her allegation and said they were never even engaged. But she never gave up. She and Bharti searched her husband’s Facebook accounts until they were able to get evidence that proved their marriage occurred when she was underage.
“Many of his friends have posted congratulatory messages on his Facebook page. The court accepted the evidence and declared their marriage invalid,” said Kriti Bharti as disclosed in NDTV.
Bishnoi is really grateful to Bharti. She’s glad she ran away from home when her parents forced her to live with her husband and consummate the marriage.
“I wanted to study but my family and my in-laws wanted me to live with a drunkard. It was about life and death, and I chose to live,” Bishnoi told AFP news agency.
After she ran away, she lived in a shelter where she met Bharti, who helped her with the annulment of her marriage.
According to UNICEF, Asia is a home to a high number of children who are forced to marry for economic, cultural and family reasons. In India, girls in particular are married young to reduce the economic burden on their family as they are no longer an extra person for their parents to look after.