Defying convention, two girls get married to each other in Odisha’s Talcher

Dhenkanal: As the Supreme Court is hearing the issue of decriminalisation of gay sex by scrapping Section 377, a same-sex relationship between two girls at Odapada block has caused a furore in the area with both families being ostracized by their communities. The girls, bosom friends, had defied convention and tied the knot at a temple in Talcher last week. The couple, one over 20 years and another 17, have been in a relationship for several years.
They were reportedly attracted to each other and developed closeness in school. They had taken the oath to stay together for life and one of them even confessed her relationship before her parents. Shocked at the disclosure, her frantic parents rushed to find a groom for her in the last week of June and arranged her marriage. The girls then decided to take the matter into their own hands and eloped. While the families were searching for them with the younger girl’s parents lodging a missing complaint with police, the couple were traced and found to have got married at a temple in Talcher last week. The younger girl was seen wearing vermilion and bangles.
Motanga police station inspector Pravat Tripathy said he had registered a missing case on the complaint of the father of the younger girl. On being traced, both appeared before the police and underwent counseling. They were put up in the Swadhar and Open Shelter at Dhenkanal as the necessary age determination had to be done by the Child Welfare Committee.
After three-day counseling by CWC members and women’s expert, the girls were restored to their respective families. However, they were taken to their relatives’ houses away from home as the village was tense. The families have been subjected to abuse and have been warned that the girls would not be allowed into the village, the younger girl’s father, a driver, said.

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