Feb 21: A 12-year old stands in full bridal outfit. Smiling, she is holding a bouquet and looks absolutely resplendent. Next to her stands her equally resplendent groom. This is not one of the role play videos where kids play pretend. The groom is in fact a grown man, old enough to be the girl’s grandfather. The girl is actually his wife- his child bride.
The couple is standing near a beach, while a photographer films them in what looks like a post-bridal shoot. People pass by as some congratulate the couple, while some raise their eyebrows and just pass. Others are courageous enough to raise their voice and start asking the girl about her parents and where they are and whether she was married with her own consent. All this while, the man tries to dispel the crowd, saying that he has taken the permission from the girl’s parents. Also Read: Maneka Gandhi: Child marriages on a rise in the country
This video has being going viral on social media, for all the right reasons. The protagonists of the video- the girl, the man and the photographer- are actually actors hired by the NGO Kafa, which means ‘enough’. The video aims at spreading awareness about child marriage laws in Lebanon and how cruel they are. The video was made with the support of United Nations Population Fund (UNPF) to put pressure on the government to end child marriage in the country.
This video will make you reflect on what happens in India.The law here forbids child marriage, but they still do happen, don’t they? So, what if you saw a child bride standing beside a grown man in say, some rural part of India? Would you try to save the girl from injustice, or would you just feel sorry for her and leave her to her fate?