If the price of freedom is selfless hyper -vigilance, 29 yr old Linkan Subudhi from India deserves the medal of valor.
Arranged marriages are a practice as old as many cultures, with global statistics indicating that up to 55% of all marriages are arranged in some fashion or another. The ‘divorce’ rates are equally as surprising with only a mere 6% ever ending their arranged marriages legally.
How is that possible? Allow us to theorize as to what might be the glue holding many of these unions together: Fear and Helplessness. It’s shocking to be sure. You’d think women would be racing down the aisles in droves, into the arms of their captor/husband til death do them part. As appealing as a fate of servitude and mistreatment may seem, some very brave women are beginning to fight back.
Recently, the above mentioned heroine Linkan landed herself in the Intensive Care Unit of Kailash Hospital where she was being treated for severe head trauma, an attempt made to slit her throat, along with needing 25 stitches in her scalp.
Linkan was attacked by the mother and groom-to-be (let’s not call him betrothed) of a 15 year old girl she was trying to rescue from forced marriage. What makes this story so shocking is not only that the young girls mother was in collusion with the much older suitor, but that Linkan herself had no relationship to the bride. There was nothing to gain but this girls freedom and what looks like quite a beat down for having done the right thing. Linkan indicates she has no intention of stopping her quest of freeing child brides. Each girl deserves a say in her future. It’s wonderful other women like Linkan are working to change the outcomes for younger girls.