Get subscribed to our newsletter
Get interesting updates to your email inbox.
- Child marriage is a serious problem in Nepal. There are laws against the practice of child marriage which make them illegal in the country but the government has not been successful in implementing such policies
- One such case is of Kopila Wosti, who was married off by her father at the age of 14
- She was denied a chance to get a education and choose her own partner
- A researcher from, Human Rights Watch, conducted a study which revealed that poverty, illiteracy and society’s disapproval of unmarried women was the root cause of the practice of child marriage.
KATHMANDU, NEPAL, Sept 09, 2016: Kopila Wosti was a 14-year-old young bride, who her father married off to a 19-year-old stranger. A year later, she gave birth to a baby girl. By the time she was 20, she had three children.
“The first time I became pregnant, I was not even aware I was going to be a mother and did not know how to raise the child,” said Wosti, now 34, as she sat cross-legged on the floor of a shelter home in the Nepali capital, Kathmandu.
Separated from her husband for over a decade, Wosti blames the marriage for ruining her life — denying her the chance of going to school and of choosing a more suitable partner.
“There are women of my age who are yet to have children,” said the petite woman, dressed in a green shirt and trousers, with her long black hair tied up in a bun.
“I could have gone to school and had a better future, too. But all that is a dream now,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Law not enforced
Child marriage is illegal in Nepal, yet the impoverished Himalayan nation has failed to put in place policies to curb the practice, with almost 40 percent of girls married before age 18, a report by Human Rights Watch said Thursday.
Follow NewsGram on Facebook
It found that poverty, compounded by illiteracy and society’s disapproval of unmarried women, compelled many parents to seek out husbands for their daughters.
Yet child marriage often results in a vicious cycle of malnutrition, poor health and ignorance, since a child bride is more likely to drop out of school and experience problems during pregnancy and childbirth.
Follow NewsGram on Twitter
Her children are more likely to be underweight or die before age 5, said the report, which was based on over 100 interviews with children, former child brides, parents, and activists.
“Many children in Nepal, both girls, and boys, are seeing their futures stolen from them by child marriage,” said Heather Barr, women’s rights researcher at HRW.
“Nepal’s government promises to reform, but in towns and villages across the country, nothing has changed.”
Deep roots in society
The study showed child marriage was prevalent throughout Nepal and practiced in Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim and Christian communities.
Government officials said the deeply entrenched nature of child marriage, which the nation has vowed to end by 2030, made it hard to tackle.
“The government considers child marriage as an act of violence and is making efforts to end the scourge, which is deep rooted in the society,” Sushila Paudel, an official from Nepal’s women’s ministry, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
One-third of girls in the developing world are married before age 18, according to the International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW).
Child marriage is most prevalent in sub-Saharan African countries such as Niger and Chad, but because of population size, the largest number of child brides live in South Asia.
Marriage for food
Nepal, home to 28 million people, has the third-highest rate of child marriage in Asia after Bangladesh and India, with 37 percent of girls marrying before 18.
The country outlawed the practice five decades ago with a punishment of up to three years’ imprisonment and a fine of 10,000 rupees ($95). The age of marriage is set at 20 years old for both men and women.
But HRW said the law was seldom enforced, with complaints rarely investigated by police or prosecuted.
Police were not immediately available for comment. HRW said gender discrimination and poverty were key factors driving child marriage. Almost 25 percent of Nepalis live on a less than $1.25 a day.
“Some girls said they welcomed a child marriage because they hoped it might mean they had more to eat, a hope that was not always fulfilled,” the report said.
In many communities it is normal for girls to marry soon after puberty, as parents will avoid paying a higher dowry to the groom’s family if the bride is younger, it said. (VOA)
Super model and actress Hailey Bieber said she is lucky to have a husband like Justin Bieber, refuting rumours of the ace singer not treating her properly. Hailey was speaking at singer Demi Lovato's podcast '4D With Demi Lovato', dailymail.co.uk reported.
Talking about her popstar husband and rumours around their marriage, Hailey said: "I think one of the biggest things is you have to know what the truth is behind everything. You know, there's so many narratives that float around about me, about him, about us together." She addressed the rumours point blank as she said: "There's one big fat narrative that goes around that's like, 'Justin is not nice to her, and that he mistreats her', and I'm just like, it's so far from the truth, and it's the complete and utter opposite."
Hailey went on to set the record straight about Justin, who she married in 2018. She said: "I really am lucky to say I'm with someone who is extremely respectful of me, who makes me feel special every single day. So when I see the opposite of that, I'm just like, 'Huh?' And everybody around who knows us personally would say the same thing." (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Hailey Bieber, Justin Bieber, husband, respectful, truth, married
Among the Tamil epics written during the Sangam age, only a few survived to this day. Manimegalai is one such. It is written as a sequel to the Sillapadikaram, taking the story forward of Kovalan and Madhavi's daughter, Manimegalai. The Sillapadikaram is about the injustice of the Madurai kingdom in the execution of Kovalan, which turned Kannagi, his wife into a goddess seeking vengeance for her husband's death. Kovalan, before his death, has an affair with a court dancer, Madhavi, and his daughter, Manimegalai, is said to begin a different tradition among the Tamils.
The epic, written by Sattanar, introduces Buddhism to Dravidian culture, something that has been alien to them for years. Manimegalai is the protagonist, who flees constantly from the pursuit of Chola prince Udhayakumara, and tries to lead an ascetic life. Throughout the plot, Buddhist tenets are used to avoid the culmination of a love-story. Manimegalai is believed to be the anti-love story sequel to the Sillapadikaram.
A complete work of Tamil epic written by hand on leaves Image source: wikimedia commons
The Sillapadikaram was written by a Jain monk, Illango Adigal, and Sattanar, uses the sequel to question Jainism. It is almost a political battle between two new religions competing for a place in a predominantly Hindu society. Parts of Manimegalai even go to the extent of opening ridiculing Jain practices and beliefs.
Critics of Tamil literature have stated that while the Tamil epics have great poetic significance, they are inferior to other world epics when it comes to clearly portraying religious affiliations. In fact, they refer to the newer religions with an infant's perspective. Some scholars have found that Sillapadikaram has more ethical substance than its sequel, but in and of itself, despite being written by a Jain monk, reads like Hindu poetry (Subhramanya Aiyar, 1906).
Keywords: Manimegalai, Sillapadikaram, Tamil Epic, Sattanar, Ilango Adigal, Chola kingdom, Sangam Age, Buddhism
The Covid-19 pandemic could act as an inflection point to shift India's growth model from being consumption driven to investments-led. In its Ecoscope report, Motilal Oswal Financial Services, said: "With Covid-19 hurting India's 'Household' (HH) and 'Government' sectors adversely, the continuity of strong consumption growth is in question."
"On the contrary, with listed companies' financial positions improving and an uptick in household investments in the Real Estate sector (called physical savings), the narrative of investment-led recovery is gaining momentum." The report prescribed that various economic participants - households, governments, listed companies, and unlisted corporates -- to increase their fixed asset investments in the immediate future based on their financial position.
The Covid-19 pandemic could act as an inflection point to shift India's growth model from being consumption driven to investments-led. | Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash
At present, the listed and unlisted corporate sector accounts for only about half of total investments in India. The 'HH' sector including unincorporated enterprises accounts for 35-40 per cent in India's investments, while the remaining 12-13 per cent is contributed by centre and states governments. Besides, the report cited that demand environment is expected to remain subdued due to weak financial position of 'HH' and government sector.
"Despite household investments picking up strongly in 2HFY21, given that Indian households bore the maximum brunt of Covid-led losses in CY20 (and CY21), we believe household spending would remain subdued over the next few years." It further pointed out that unless 'HH', 'Unlisted Corporate', and government sectors can improve their financial positions -- leading to a demand uptick -- a strong revival in investments seems challenging. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: India, covid, pandemic, growth, household, government, investment