Jamshedpur (Jharkhand), Apr 23: Standing against the practice of child marriage, 14-year-old tribal girl, Duli Hembram, from Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, rejected marriage and wrote to the school’s principal expressing her desire to study. Duli called off her wedding and attended school instead on Wednesday. (READ-Maneka Gandhi: Child marriages on a rise in the country)

In a letter to the school principal, class VIII student Duli wrote that she was not being able to fulfill her pledge on not to get married before 18 years of age. The school teachers then approached Duli’s parents and convinced them not to force her into child marriage.

“Today is my wedding. I am not getting married. I want to study,” she said on Wednesday. Meanwhile, her school teacher, Mansa Ram Manjhi, said the episode will inspire other girls too. “This episode will be a turning point against the age-old tradition. Other under-18 girls will also get a message that they should also study further and not get married before 18,” said Manjhi.

Duli’s parents said they were not economically sound to support her education. “Whether she wants to be doctor or engineer, we want the government to look after her educational expenses. We won’t be able to afford that much,” said Duli’s brother, Sundar Hembram. However, the family married off Duli’s 21-year-old elder cousin to the groom.