Inside Story
New Delhi: They may not have come of age, but these innocent girls showed exemplary courage and determination to stand up against evils of child marriage. Dugi alias Minati Gagaral (14) of Orissa have been given the National Bravery Award for revolting against the practice of child marriage.

Minati who was pressurized by a 50-year-old man to marry him.As per Adivasi custom, her elder brother did not allow her to stay in her parents house thereafter and even threatened to kill her.

However, diminutive Minati refused to accept the aged man as her husband and stood up against the Adivasi custom and child marriage. She left the house and stayed in the forest for two to three days without food. Then, with the help of locals, she reported the matter to police Under the protection of a local NGO, the Oriya girl plans to become a master craftsperson.

When asked what she planned to do with the prize money she would get along with the bravery award, Minati said "I will study." An unlettered, the girl is currently being taught to read and write.