The New York Times

India Reduces Marriages of Children

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

MADHURA, India — The well-wishers had all gathered even though neither the teenage bride-to-be nor her mother wanted the girl to go through with the wedding. It took a police raid to stop it, and even then it was nearly too late.

It is hard to state the age of Deepa Kumari, the betrothed girl, with any certainty. A government identification card lists it at 15. Her father, accused of selling Deepa for about $300 to the groom, a 31-year-old laborer, insists that she is 17. A local constable put the number at 13.

In any case, by dusk on that February evening, a

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