April 22: The legal age of marriage is 20 years. But the custom of child marriage is still prevalent in the hilly districts of the Far-west state.
The religious superstition that marrying off one’s daughter before she reaches puberty is a pious act has been in existence in the remote rural areas of the state, which is one reason for the presence of child marriage practice in the region, said Uttam Dhariya, a local of Dipayal. Dhariya said, “Child marriages are secretly held in the name of earning piousness. This practice should be put to an end,” he insisted.
The practice of marrying off one’s daughter before she reaches legal age for marriage is mostly found among the Brahman, Chhetri and the dalit castes in Achham, Bajhang, Bajura, Darchula and Doti among other hilly districts of the far-west region.
Chief District Officer of Doti, Yadav Subedi said the boys and girls can marry when they are 18 years if their parents and guardians consented to it but the legal age of marriage is 20 years if they want to marry on their own.