Nepal has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world — 41 percent of girls and 11 percent of boys marry before age 18. Most of them get married that because some aspects of their cultural practices require them to do so, poverty and low level of education and also because of natural catastrophes like earthquakes.
Durga was 16 years old when he married Niruta, 14 years. He did so because his mother died and the family needed help with field and house work. In 8 years before Durga dies of cancer, they had 3 children (8 years old, 5 and 1 year old). The poor widow is left without any means of survival hence, starts regretting the idea of quitting school for marriage. She is determined to offer a better future to her children, though she does not know exactly how to do that. She wants them to go to school and get educated so that they do not fall in the same mistake as hers and their deceased father.
Cases like this can be overlooked and I think in describing them people need to be careful. How can we anthropologically judge early marriages? Durga’s father thought that he was probably doing some good to the family by honoring a tradition and bringing another ‘helper’, but it turned that the future of his son became uncertain just because of that decision. Would it be morally incorrect to say that this tradition is wrong?