In one heartbreaking clip, a little girl of about 10 years is seen crying and pleading for help as her father drags her around during the customary wedding ceremony
The video is reported to have been taken in in Chittorgarh, a city in Rajasthan, northern India, a state in the country that is prevalent for child marriages, Daily Mail reports.
In one heartbreaking clip, a little girl of about 10 years is seen crying and pleading for help as her father drags her around during the customary wedding ceremony.
Another clip shows a Hindu priest conducting marriage rites as he scolds the young groom and bride for crying.
A child bride as young as five is seen in the footage dressed and forced to walk around the fire with her child groom, 11 years old. She cries out loudly but is still forced to complete the marriage rites by walking around the fire seven times.
Identities of the older men conducting the marriage rites are yet to be identified by police, according to reports by Daily Mail. Most of the culprits have reportedly gone into hiding.
Speaking on the footage, Indian child rights activist Kriti Bharti blamed the police for not acting fast enough while consoling the victims.
"My heart goes out to these little children trapped in this tragedy. The police should have acted immediately as the video clearly shows a priest was involved. Action should not only be taken against the families but each adult involved in the ceremony including the decorators, caterers, attendees and relatives", said the 28-yr-old founder of Saarthi Trust, a charity for the welfare for child brides and other vulnerable children.
The child rights activist has so far annulled 29 child marriages and stopped 850 child marriages.
"Our society will never improve and this cruel concept will keep continuing if strict action is not taken against these people.
"The Child Welfare Committee now needs to intervene and these victims should be taken into protective custody. Once they have protection, we will try reaching out to them and counsel them for a better life ahead of them.
"The families in these cases need equal amount of counseling as they are under a lot of societal pressures," she added.
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