13 Heartbreaking, Beautiful Photos Of Life As A Child Bride

Fourteen-year-old Krishna and her 16-year-old husband raise their infant son while growing up themselves. (via Reuters).

1. Gopal Kishan (right) and his wife Krishna were married in May 2010. On their wedding day, the newlywed bride was 11; her husband was 13. Photographer Danish Siddiqui documented the ceremony for Reuters.

Danish Siddiqui / File / Reuters

2. The legal age for marriage in India is 18, but these laws are rarely enforced, especially in rural areas. UNICEF reports that 40% of the world’s child marriages occur in India.

Danish Siddiqui / Reuters

3. The young couple live in a small village in the northwestern Indian state of Rajasthan. Siddiqui has visited them every year since their marriage to document the changes in their lives.

Danish Siddiqui / File / Reuters

4. The now-teenage husband and wife have a 4-month-old son named Alok, which means enlightenment in Hindi.

Danish Siddiqui / Reuters

5. Gopal plays with his child outside the family home.

Danish Siddiqui / Reuters

6. Krishna nearly died in childbirth and had to be hospitalized for days following the delivery. Gopal describes his wife’s recovery as “nothing less than a miracle.”

Danish Siddiqui / Reuters

7. The village community has welcomed the arrival of a baby and neighbors and nearby family members have helped the young couple since Alok’s birth.

Dannish Siddiqui / Reuters

8. Krishna, now 14 years old, hoped for a daughter during her pregnancy but told Siddiqui that she is very happy with her son.

Danish Siddiqui / Reuters

9. She spends her days cooking, cleaning, and caring for baby Alok.

Danish Siddiqui / Reuters

10. Her husband works in the soybean fields owned by his family, but irrigation problems have made the ground less fertile in the past few months and there is very little to be done.

Danish Siddiqui / Reuters

11. Out of work, 16-year-old Gopal (right) has started drinking heavily. He told Siddiqui that for his family’s survival, he needs to leave the village and find work in the city.

Danish Siddiqui / Reuters

12. Krishna breaks down after her husband returns home drunk. She fears Gopal will accidentally hurt his young son while intoxicated.

Danish Siddiqui / Reuters

13. “As I left the small village,” Siddiqui wrote, “the only thing which bothered me was the future of four-month-old Alok. Would he go down the same route his parents took or would he bend societal norms to carve a separate path for himself.”

Danish Siddiqui / Reuters

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