We're in Jaipur, Rajasthan, taking a Rickshaw back to the hotel after a meeting with a retailer specializing in bedsheets and pillow covers. The traffic lights turn red and suddenly a young girl comes up next to the Rickshaw and wants to sell balloons. She's wearing a traditional Rajasthani dress. Colourful. "She's married", Sudarshan says and is hinting at her red stripe on her forehead. So young. But I'm not surprised. Rajasthan has one of the highest number of childmarriages in India. Culturally broadly accepted, even if it's nation wide a crime to get married before the age of 18 if you are a girl and 21 if you are a boy based on the Prohibition of child marriage Act since 2006. And only This year India decided to criminalise sex with a child bride.
So up until now it's been ilegal to marry a child but legal to have sex with a child bride...does that make any sense to anyone?!
The red light is still on and we turn our heads to the other side of the Rickshaw where a little boy is standing and holding an even smaller boy in his arms. Like a mother carrying her child on her hip.
The boys are barefoot, wearing dirty clothes and looks significantly malnourished. Dust on their both cheeks. Imagin the amount of airpollution they breath into their fragile, not yet fully developed, lungs while walking the hectic roads of Jaipur.
And at the time we look at them they, at the same time, turn both their heads with their big eyes towards us.
Red light turns green and we're on the go. A normal day to day view of Indian society.
Do one turn numb after seeing one too many of these situations? Maybe it's a form of defence mechanism?!
A week before PM Narendra Modi visited Gujarat in order to become the first passenger on India's first seaplane.
There is absolutely no logic in this world.