12 March 2010:
Right after the Annual Conference held in Kolkata, our Bankura branch has jumped into action. A tribal girl, Putul Tudu aged 12, was to be given away in marriage against her will. This is not only illegal in India, but unethical and inhumane as well. On the 9th of March this year our secretary from Bankura, Biplab Das, and another member, Tarun Rakshit, visited the remote Housibad village amidst the jungles of Taldangra and managed to stop the wedding.
Biplab Das informed the police and had the girl rescued. It is not common among tribals to marry so young. Also, tribal youths normally choose their own partners with each other’s consent. This was an exceptional case, probably urged by extreme poverty.
Within two days Biplab Das and his friends got the girl admitted to the local Taldangra Girls’ School and also managed to get her hostel accommodation. The hostel, Kasturba Gandhi, offers residence to local girl students at a nominal cost.
This incident will act as a precedent and deter other such stray incidents in the poor tribal zone. The village panchyat will also be able to take similar steps whenever necessary. Congratulations to Biplab and his assistants Tarun and Prasanto!
General Secretary, Humanist’s Association of India