In an extraordinary turn of events, a 13-year-old girl’s desperate plea on Facebook puts an end to her forced marriage.
Eluru, India – September 20, 2023 – In an inspiring and heartwarming story, a 13-year-old girl from Eluru, India, has successfully averted a forced marriage through her resourcefulness and the timely intervention of the district collector. This remarkable incident serves as a testament to the power of social media in addressing critical issues in today’s world.
The young girl, who lost her father at the tender age of one, has been living with her grandparents in Eluru’s Chenchu colony since her mother remarried. Her grandparents, who make their livelihood as agriculture laborers, faced financial hardships that led them to contemplate marrying her off within their community.
However, the courageous girl had other plans. She harbored a strong desire to complete her education before considering marriage. Determined to protect her dreams, she turned to Facebook, seeking help from the district collector, Mr. Y Prasanna Venkatesh.
In a heartfelt message sent through the social media platform, she expressed her fervent wish to continue her studies and pleaded with the collector to halt the impending marriage. Responding swiftly to the distress call, the collector immediately directed the district child protection officer, Ms. Ch Surya Chakraveni, and the child helpline staff to investigate and intervene in the situation.
Upon visiting the girl’s residence and engaging with her family members, the officials discovered the underlying financial difficulties that had pushed her grandparents to consider an early marriage for her. Sensing an opportunity for guidance and support, they invited the family to the collectorate for counseling.
During these counseling sessions, the district collector played a pivotal role in persuading the grandparents and relatives to abandon the marriage plans. Recognizing the importance of education in the girl’s life, the collector went a step further by visiting her school. There, he not only inquired about her academic performance but also presented her with a brand new bicycle, a school bag, uniform, and books. Moreover, he assured her of the government’s financial assistance to help her pursue her educational aspirations.
In a heartening twist of fate, the young girl’s determination, coupled with the compassion and timely intervention of the district collectorate, has enabled her to continue her education and avoid the premature responsibilities of marriage.
This incident stands as a shining example of how social media can be harnessed for good, helping individuals in distress to connect with authorities and effect positive change in their lives. It is a reminder that even in the face of adversity, the courage to reach out and seek help can lead to brighter and more promising futures.