Tamluk, Feb. 27: The 16-year-old had just returned home after writing her Madhyamik English paper yesterday when her family told her she would be married off in a few hours.
Her house was full of relatives and she was told the pandal outside was for her wedding. But the feisty girl told her mother and relatives that she was not ready for marriage and she had to prepare for her history exam.
The East Midnapore girl’s wedding was called off after the district administration, alerted by a villager, told her family about the Kanyashree scheme the government has launched to give financial incentives to prevent underage marriage.
The girl had earlier been told by her widowed mother and 22-year-old brother, a Group D government employee, that a prospective groom and his family would meet her after her Madhyamik exams ended in March.
“But when I returned home yesterday afternoon, my family members told me that they could not wait as they had found a groom who owned land and also had a business,” the girl said.
“I was shocked. I told my mother and elder brother that I don’t want to marry,” she added.
BDO Tamajit Chakraborty said the girl’s family members were initially reluctant to call off the marriage, but when he told them about Kanyashree and that underage marriage was illegal, they relented.