Kannur: A 14-year old tribal of Odappuzha Colony in Kanichal Panchayath, Peravoor gave birth to a son in Thalassery General Hospital, last week. The 15-year old father, a daily-wage labourer who went out in search of a job 6 months back, is yet to return. There are no records to establish the couple’s marital relationship since they were ‘married’ according to tribal custom. There are reported to be 70 odd such under-age mothers here, with instances of boys ‘marry’ing aunts. Tribal promoters and the department are guilty of gross dereliction of duty since they hardly probe this issue. Lack of both government intervention and education contribute to the tribal’s plight.
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