It was not just poverty though. In Shivpuri, Madhya Pradesh, a school dropout Neetu (name changed) told the police that she agreed to get married for reasons of safety. The fatherless girl looked after household work as her mother and brother went out to work as daily wage earners. She did not feel safe at home alone and since several cases of molestation were reported in the neighbourhood, she agreed to the proposal. The wedding however was stopped after police were tipped off.
In Bahraich (Uttar Pradesh), Ramesh Jatav’s 17-year old daughter called Women’s Helpline to report that she was being forced to marry. Jatav pleaded that he had 12 children, six of whom were girls. And girls among his people were married off before the age of 17. In Chitrakoot in Uttar Pradesh, a daily wage labourer, who also happened to be an alcoholic, took Rs 50,000 for the marriage of his 13-year old daughter from the boy’s family. He had lost his livelihood and this seemed to be the easiest way to make some money.