As 13-year-old Krupa approached her family home, she became confused. People flocked around. Why were there so many? Who were they?
Spotting her mother, Krupa inquired about the crowd. But her mother dodged the question. Just follow any instruction you might receive, she said.
Krupa’s confusion gave way to fear when she realized her parents were preparing her wedding.
Not Ready for Marriage
UNICEF estimates that 45 percent of women in South Asia aged 20–24 were married before the age of 18. A fifth were married before the age of 15. Krupa was set to be married at 13.
“I was bewildered,” Krupa, now 23, says “as I was only 13 years old. How could my parents think of my marriage?”
Krupa’s prospective husband was quite wealthy, which was why her father, Harshul, considered the proposal.
Krupa looked at her mother and saw a mixture of sadness and resignation in her face. The young girl knew she had to stop the wedding from moving forward, but could she? Could she go against her family, their expectations and the prospect of a little wealth?
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