My name is Srijana (name changed). I am 15 years old. My maternal home is Nuwakot district. I live with my parents including my step mother. My parents are farmers. From my mother’s side, I have one elder brother, eldest sister and one younger brother. My eldest sister is not married yet. She works at a hospital. My eldest brother is abroad, and my younger brother works at a silver shop (jewelry store). The April 28 earthquake destroyed our home.

I was 13 years old when my parents were convinced by the parents of my husband for marriage with false information that the family is rich and owns a large area of land. I realized that my husband who worked in India had married me under compulsion since he already had a girlfriend. Our marriage could not last for more than three months. I was sent back to my maternal home by my husband since he brought his girlfriend into the house as his 2nd wife. He had behaved rudely saying that I had already been working in his house for 3 months, and demanded that I leave the house. He also hit me twice. It was hard to believe that, my mother-in-law used to accuse me of marrying her son, because I did not find a suitable man elsewhere. She used to tell me that her son would be able to find a better wife than me.  I lived in that house for three months, but now I am back in my parent’s home.

In fact, I did not want to get married at that young age. But my parents were very naïve and it was my step mother who forced me to get married saying that my life will be better in a rich family. My husband’s family came over to our home three times to ask for my hand (marriage). I said no for the first two times, however I ended up getting married the third time. When I said I wanted to study, I was told getting married will bring you happiness. I sought support of 2-3 older men of my village to cancel the marriage proposal but none of them came forward to help me. Instead they advised me to get married. Probably my parents could not give any dowry to the in-laws, at the time or even after my marriage, they abandoned me.

Nowadays I work in the field. My mother keeps falling ill. There is no one to help with the household work. All the three children of my step mother go to school. I want to re-enroll in the school since I have discontinued schooling after completing Grade 5. But why my father cannot afford to send me to school.