A child marriage story

“I have two children. The boy is five years old and the girl is three. I am 21 years old. I got married when I was 15. I went to school for two years. I liked it but my mother wanted me to get married soon. My parents chose my husband. It was an arranged marriage, you know? I said I didn’t like him but they beat me until I accepted it. Sometimes I like my husband, sometimes I don’t. We fight and sometimes he beats me too.”

I met Rupa in the streets of Gokarna. She sells jewellery to tourists. She moved here with her family in search of work. Two of her childhood friends also came with their families. All of them were married young. They can still hangout and behave like girls when they are together. While taking her portrait, I asked her to think about her children. Her smile disappeared.

Read more about my experience in India