Becoming a Father Too Soon.

This weekend is Father’s Day Weekend.

My family showed me the most wonderful Mother’s Day I’ve ever had last month, and I want to make this weekend so special for my husband. Maybe we’ll go out for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Maybe we’ll relax and garden. Maybe we’ll go to Six Flags. Maybe we’ll go to the local Mutton & Mead Festival, because clearly, my family does well with those sorts of things:

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I know it will be wonderful to be together, and I know that we will be celebrating the beauty of fatherhood. With Father’s Day on the brain, I can’t help but think about the stories I’ve read recently about child grooms in Nepal. My husband is a happy father, and he was more than ready to become one. He’s also a hero in the eyes of his children – for his consistent love, devotion, humor and sense of adventure. The #childgrooms of Nepal are heroes too. They are forced into marriage at shockingly young ages, and yet they are working to save the next generation from their terrible plight. To end the suffering.

Pannilal Yadev is a former child groom.

Pranav (real name witheld due to age), 16 years old, is a child groom. CARE USA representatives have come to the area to view the progress of the Tipping Point Program, meant to combat child marriage in the districts of Kapilbastu and Rupandehi of Nepal near the Indian border.(Photo credit: CARE/Carey Wagner)

He was so young when he was married, that he barely remembers it. Yadev is still resentful and angry that his marriage forced him to abandon his schooling. Today, he works with CARE to fight and end child marriage in Nepal. CARE also interviewed a man named Parashuram who was forced to get married at the tender age of nine! He was so young and nervous that he wet himself at his own wedding because he didn’t know how to untie the ceremonial garment in order to use the bathroom. At just 12-years-old, he was under pressure to produce a child, even though he hadn’t hit puberty yet. He said, “I couldn’t do what was expected of me as a married man.” No one should be expected to become a father at age 12.

Parshuram Harijan (left), 31 years old, son Sakcham, 4 years old and wife Mayadevi (right) pose for a picture in front of the Dalit Social Development Center. Parshuram works here as a social mobilizer. CARE USA representatives have come to the area to view the progress of the Tipping Point Program, meant to combat child marriage in the districts of Kapilbastu and Rupandehi of Nepal near the Indian border.(Photo credit: CARE/Carey Wagner)

CARE is a global humanitarian organization that fights poverty by empowering girls and women. CARE is committed to its mission to serve individuals and families in the poorest communities in the world, and seeks a world of hope, tolerance and social justice. CARE seeks a world where poverty has been overcome, and people live in dignity and security.

A young girl smiles for the camera in the village of Marchwar, Nepal. CARE USA representatives have come to the area to view the progress of the Tipping Point Program, meant to combat child marriage in the districts of Kapilbastu and Rupandehi of Nepal near the Indian border.(Photo credit: CARE.org)

CARE facilitates lasting change by:
• Strengthening capacity for self-help
• Providing economic opportunity
• Delivering relief in emergencies
• Influencing policy decisions at all levels
• Addressing discrimination in all its forms

One of the reasons CARE was able to reach thousands of people with life-saving relief so soon after the devastating April 25th earthquake, is because they have been working closely with the people of Nepal since 1978. One of their fears is that the earthquake will further isolate rural communities, and in turn, intensify the economic pressure that is fueling child marriage.

Men and women walk along the road carrying large bundles of pati back to their home. It is common for women and children to assist the family in the fields during harvest season. (Photo credit: CARE.org)

How can you help? Spread information. Visit the Child Grooms of Nepal page HERE, where you can view the report and voice your support by signing a pre-drafted letter to your members of congress. Share this post. Share posts just like it that you may see on blogs and social media. Urge your loved ones to visit this page and voice their support. We can stand alongside the men in Nepal who are fighting to stop child marriage, and we can join CARE’s efforts in raising awareness to the cause.

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105 Comments

  1. It is so sad that there are things like this going on around the world but good to know that we can help make a difference. Happy Fathers Day to Cassidy and I just know that you’ll make it one amazing one for him.

    1. It was pretty awesome. I hope you had a great weekend, my dear!
      And yes, so sad that this is going on and not many people know about the #childgrooms as much as the brides.

  2. It is truly sad that this still happens in some cultures. I couldn’t imagine handing off my children like that, so young. Thank you for helping to raise awareness about this Tamara!

    1. I know! It’s just a few years away from Scarlet’s age, it seems. Child brides and child grooms…Sigh.
      Thanks for reading, my dear!

  3. Aw, Tamara I cannot even imagine, but truly can’t thank you enough for spreading awareness for this here. And I am of course wishing Cassidy, a very wonderful Father’s Day now, too!!

  4. Wow. Thank you for sharing this, Tamara. I had no idea this was going on with the boys in Nepal. I will share…

  5. I always think of girls as getting married off too young — I didn’t realize that this was a problem with boys as well! What pressure that must put on them. Father a child before you even hit puberty! That’s crazy. I can only imagine the stresses this puts on these boys.

    1. I hadn’t realized it either! And it must be so hard for boys. I know even teen boys sink so hard under peer pressure sometimes. It’s so rough.

  6. Oh my goodness 9 years old!! That is not right. I get so upset at all of the injustice in the world and especially when it affects children. Great job on raising awareness on this issue Tamara! I hope your husband has a wonderful weekend and feels extra appreciated and happy!

  7. we are so privileged and steeped in our own comforts on our small little side of the planet. So unaware of the suffering in this world, and there is a lot. A lot. Breaks my heart to know this exists — breaking the spirit of a child so young. There’s just no excuse for it at all. Thanks for sharing.

  8. I had never heard of child grooms before. I can’t imagine how hard it is for these young boys having to get married at such a young age. I’ll be following the link to draft a letter to my local congress members.

  9. Child marriage is heartbreaking, but raising awareness about child brides and grooms is the first step to ending it. Oh, but to be married at nine years old is truly heartbreaking.

  10. What’s going on in the world is breaking my heart right now. That there is so much injustice far and so close, with people being killed in a church (!!!). Sigh. But yes, this also needs to end and righteffingnow. Great post, Tamara. xxoo

    1. The church thing.. there are almost no words. Like… are we all going to survive to raise our wonderful kids to be.. better?
      I hope so.

    1. Exactly! Stuff we never hear about. That’s what drew me to this story – people often think about child brides and not child grooms.

  11. My goodness! I can’t even begin to imagine. I’ve heard of so many arranged marriages and I’m sure most of them are not happy stories. I don’t have enough knowledge about child marriage but I’m aware that it happens even here in the Philippines but only in a few tribes in the mountains. I hope it stops!

    1. Me too! I imagine it can happen anywhere and I’m not sure why people don’t know about it the way we do about child brides. I had no idea until I wrote this post!

  12. Can you imagine Des becoming a husband in six years? And James would have been married for almost five years already. Tragic. Thanks for sharing – we need to know so that we can help make a change.

  13. Oh, man… That is so incredibly heartbreaking 🙁 Thanks so much for sharing this, Tamara… I watched the video and find it so hard to believe that anyone could get married so young! I mean, my goodness… What was I thinking about at age 12? Certainly NOT marriage… Thanks for raising awareness and for sharing this post here. I hope you and your family have a very happy Father’s Day and that you enjoy your time together, regardless of what you do (though that Mead Fest sounds pretty fantastic) 🙂 XOXO

    1. I think at age 12.. I still thought I’d marry Tim Curry! No joke there.
      We missed the Mutton and Mead festival! Boo! The weather was iffy and so was Cassidy’s desire to go there…
      But we had a great breakfast together.

  14. We always hear about this issue with respect to girls…I never considered that it happened to boys too. Thank you for sharing this Tamara! Its so hard to even imagine…my boys at 18 and 14 are nowhere near ready to take on the responsibility of a family…I can’t even fathom that at age 9. What a horrible situation!
    Wishing Cassidy a Happy Father’s Day!

    1. I hadn’t heard of it either!
      Your kids would potentially be fathers by now! And Des.. married in six years? No way on earth.

      Hope you guys had a great weekend!

  15. This is the saddest shit ever.. How awful.. I wonder what their justification/reasoning for that is? Why does that make sense ever? In any culture.. I understand MAYBE 15 or so since at that age you’ve hit puberty but freakin’ 12 and below? NO! That’s a BAD Nepalese! [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKiSN-TBEAc] Lol. I hope they are able to reach those remote areas and educate them as to the error of their ways. Yes, error! I am usually tolerant and respectful of cultural differences and traditions but that is a NO-NO! Hope Cassidy has an AWESOME Father’s Day 🙂 Have fun making it fun Tam Tam!! 🙂 -Iva

    1. I don’t get the justification at all!!
      Thanks for the South Park clip – ha! You really do find the best ones. I had one yesterday of a baby goat dressed as a sunflower, falling asleep in a flower pot.

      1. I don’t get it either and honestly I don’t want to, it is a tradition that just needs to die! LOL You’re welcome, South Park always has relevant clips. 🙂 I really do try my best to find the best one – timing is everything hahahaha.. LOL!! That’s too cute – reminds me of my dumb cat.. He’s amusing when he’s not popping in inappropriate places which he hasn’t done – as of yet. I FEEL LIKE THERE ISN’T ENOUGH HOURS IN THE DAY TAM TAM?!

  16. That is absolutely horrible! I cannot even imagine allowing my kids away from be before 18, let alone marriage at such a young age! Thank you so much for such an amazing post! Be sure to come by and share it on the linky Sunday night! Happy dad’s day to Cassidy and hope that you all have an amazing day!

  17. Definitely heard of child brides but not child grooms, at least the term (though I’ve heard it happening). It’s terrible when I hear things like this—they’re just children!

  18. That is just insane. I look at my youngest, who is almost 8 and he’s just a baby.

    1. I know! My “baby” is only three, but in five years, they’d consider that marriage age. So insane. My daughter is only five and still thinks she’ll marry her father!

    1. Oh yeah – I totally hear you. I have no idea what to say. I hope my post helps even a few people spread awareness of this horror.

  19. This is sad. I had no idea that little boys were forced into marriage, I have heard of little girls, but not boys. It makes me sick to my stomach. Thank you for spreading awareness, Tamara.
    XOXO

  20. Really sad that this practice still exists. It is terrible that children are robbed of their childhood.

  21. It’s great that Yadev is so passionate and determined to help others avoid the same situation. CARE seems like a wonderful organization with a great mission.

  22. There are people who live such trying lifestyles and we complain about the simple things . Yadev is in fact a hero as he could have chosen to be bitter for his entire life but instead he rose above all adversities and helped others

  23. I can’t believe this still happens in some cultures. Children need to be just that…children! CARE sounds like a great way to raise awareness.

    1. So true. As a mother, I find that the most beautiful thing I know is just children being children – happy and whole. That’s what makes this so painful to hear about.

  24. It’s so hard to understand this when we don’t have anything at all like it here (and I’m glad we don’t). We are very, very lucky.

  25. I have read a lot about child wives, but not grooms. This is eye-opening! I guess it really does go both ways. Unfortunately, these kids have no say and their parents often don’t see it as wrong because it was part of their cultural upbringing. CARE is a great org. Sharing now!

    1. Glad to hear your take about CARE. That means good things.
      And it’s interesting that you haven’t read about child grooms either. So glad awareness is being raised. May it go far.

  26. Wow, I had no idea about the child grooms of Nepal. What a sad story! Thanks for sharing… I’m going to read more about it.

    1. I hadn’t either – it’s so shocking that it exists, and also that we don’t know about it. I’m so happy CARE is making a difference!

  27. I’ve never heard of child grooms before. Both are just as terrible and glad there are communities reaching out to stop it.

  28. This is so sad, what we do to our children. Both girls and boys. Heart-breakingly sad. Thanks for writing about this, I had never heard of it, getting the word out, educating, hopefully that will change the world.

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