Solukhumbhu, Jan 18: Majority of girls from Bapsa, a Magar community, in Solukhumbu district marry young even though the state law prohibits marriage of girls before 18 and of boys before 21.
The guardians of the girls do not care about the age for marriage determined by the state in Bapsa. Sushma Rajanmagar, 14, of Bapsa married to Kishor Hirakaji Rana Magar, Kopila Khapangi Magar, 21 of Bapsa married to Soman Magar, 21, Himali Magar, 18, married to Gopal Magar, 18, in the district, recently.
They all were wedded early with their guardians’ consent. Kopila said her desire to go school was shattered after she got married while she still in school. “My desire to study higher education and become employed in government office has been broken after I was married,” she said. Himali, who was reading in Grade VII when she married, is busy farming in the village while her husband Gopal travels to Namche to manage bread for the newly wedded couple and his family.
Almost all teen-agers quit the schools after marriage and started household activities in the village. Some start trekking business while some others establish their own business but majority of them have no way rather than to work in the villages and bring up their children.
Bebina Magar, 18, has a bitter experience of taking guardianship of her two children as she was married before 15 years. Married to Amar Magar of the same village, Bebina and her husband started living separately.
Bapsa village has 150 households belonging to Magar community and Subita Magar, 18, and Raju Rana Magar, 18, have married late as compared to their mates.
“Child marriage that is taken illegal by Nepalese law is practiced as a tradition in Bapsa,” said Chini Maya Rajanmagar, Subita’s mother.
Chini Maya is a member of Ajambari Community Organization, an NGO organization in the village. She said around 90 per cent of the girls are forced into early marriage. She suggests that the VDC and the District Woman and Children Office need to organize awareness programmes to wipe out age-long practices and encourage villagers to live healthier and happy life.
ByÂ Bhojendra Basnet