14-year-old girl foils marriage attempt in Bengal

She is 14 years old and a school dropout, but West Bengal resident Seema still mustered up the courage to stand up to her family and foiled an attempt to get her married by calling a helpline.

The Class 7 dropout, who was to tie the nuptial knot on Wednesday, called up the helpline number urging them to intervene and stop her marriage, police said on Tuesday. The incident took place in Purulia district.

"The girl, a resident of Beldi village under Arsha police station called up Childline, and informed them that she was being married off. Subsequently we intervened and rescued the girl," district police superintendent C. Sudhakar said.

While her father was remanded to 14 days' judicial custody by a local court, the girl was sent to a government home.

"After we started the awareness campaign regarding child marriage in late 2008, at least 64 girls have resisted early marriage in the district, which is a great achievement," said Prosenjit Kundu, assistant labour commissioner of the district.

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