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Story Publication logo August 14, 2017

Child Marriage for Inheritance


Gunasundari, now a successful tailor, learned her craft for free through classes at the Ulaga Matha Church in Thiruvannamalai. Image by Praveena Somasundaram. India, 2017.

Praveena Somasundaram from Guilford College traveled to southern India to report on gender...

Ramya and Nehru with their third son, Kathir. Image by Praveena Somasundaram. India, 2017.
Ramya and Nehru with their third son, Kathir. Image by Praveena Somasundaram. India, 2017.

According to UNICEF, about half of the world's child marriages occur in India. Many girls in India have to marry young because their family arranges the marriage and they get no say in the matter. These kinds of family-arranged marriages are often due to large inheritances that are kept within the family.

This is the story of Ramya, a woman from the town of Athimoor, and Nehru, her uncle, who were married when Ramya was 14 years old because her family wanted to keep 10 acres of land within the family and thus did not search for an outside alliance when arranging the marriage. Ramya speaks on her feelings about the marriage and her hopes for her children, and Nehru talks about his third son's medical condition, which occurred as a result of him marrying his niece.



Three women grouped together: an elderly woman smiling, a transwoman with her arms folded, and a woman holding her headscarf with a baby strapped to her back.


Gender Equality

Gender Equality

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