Gallantry award to teen for foiling child marriage attempt by relatives

Fourteen-year-old N Nandini hailing from Arani in Tiruvannamali district has become a local hero after receiving an award of gallantry from Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on the occasion of National Girl Child Day.
Gallantry award to teen for foiling child marriage attempt by relatives
Nandini receives the award from the Chief Minister on Wednesday

Chennai

On Wednesday morning, the teenager was presented with a cheque for Rs 1,00,000 as well as a certificate of commendation for aiding social uplift of women in the state – by averting her own marriage despite pressure from her family and neighbourhood.
Nandini, who was just 10 when her mother passed away and father deserted her, had been raised by her maternal aunt. She was expected to follow in the footsteps of her elder sister, who was married off when she 16 and has a baby now. “But I didn’t want to marry a man who was 28. My family tried to force me, but I was firm in my decision,” said Nandini, a Class 10 student.
However, not paying heed to her protests, her aunt fixed the marriage last year in July – which is when Nandini had to take some drastic action. “Two years ago, I had come across a child line number at school. The day before the wedding, I called up the Collector’s office – the PA answered and I explained my situation. That night, they came to my house and rescued me,” she recalled. Nandini’s family members were arrested initially and then released, and efforts are on to establish a working relationship with them now.
Six months on, Nandini leads a happy life at Alaigal Children’s Home. “I couldn’t believe it when I received an award from the CM. I hope this will inspire other girls to fight against societal pressure. I want to become a Collector in the future,” Nandini concluded.

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