In Nepal, young boys are turning into husbands. One former child groom speaks out.

What were you doing when you were 8?

Pannilal Yadav doesn't really remember his wedding.

"I don't remember very much about my wedding," he wrote in a blog post published by CARE. "Just that there was a big party and I was carried to it in an ornate carriage."



Pannilal Yadav has grown a lot since he was married. Image via CARE.

I don't blame him. He was only 8 at the time.

Can you imagine? His bride, Rajkumari, was only 7 — barely half a teenager. They were forced to marry by their parents, and it was the moment that changed their young lives forever. Even if they were too shy to talk to each other for years after their wedding.

You don't often hear about child grooms, but Pannilal's story is not uncommon.

It's true that child brides are more common worldwide, but UNICEF estimates that 156 million boys worldwide are married before age 18. That's not an insignificant number.

In Nepal, where Pannilal lives, child grooms are especially common in poor, rural areas. According to a fascinating new report from CARE titled "Dads Too Soon: The Child Grooms of Nepal," some of the reasons boys are married off so young by their parents include community pressure, having a new income-earner in the family, control of sexuality, and a fear that all the good wives will be gone. Eek.



Interesting/sad. Image via CARE.

Pannilal thought getting married as a kid was normal until one day in 9th grade he saw the words "I love you" on a rock.

In his blog post, Pannilal tells a story about being on a school trip in 9th grade, when he saw the words "I love you" painted on a big rock. He had to ask his teacher what “I love you" meant because he didn't know. His teacher replied that the rock was where young people who liked each other secretly met up to say things like that. “You cannot understand, Pannilal," his teacher said. “They are not married young like you."

He had to ask his teacher what “I love you" meant because he didn't know.

After that, it started to click that being married as a kid was kind of messed up and that it was holding him and his wife back in life. She was forced to drop out of school immediately after their wedding (at 7 years old!). He stayed in school until 10th grade, when she had their first child. He watched a lot of his friends finish school and go on to have impressive careers — and he felt stuck.

Today, Pannilal is a community organizer, educating people about the harms of child marriage.

It's through CARE's project called Tipping Point, and his wife — the one he married when he was 8 — is happy he's doing it. She once said to him, “It would have been nice if I was married to you when I was big enough to understand what it really means to be together." #truth


Pannilal meets with others in his community to talk about child marriage. Image via CARE.

Everyone should be able to have control over their futures.

I think it's safe to say Pannilal and his wife Rajkumari would agree. Pannilal has quite a story about how his experience helped shape the work he does today. It's definitely worth a watch:


More
True
Gates Foundation

Some people apparently don't understand just how unbelievably good Serena Williams is on the tennis court.

Why they don't understand this is unclear. She holds more open era Grand Slam titles than any other tennis player, male or female. She's set Olympic records, ranking records, age records, prize money earnings records—the woman is a record-breaking machine. (Fun fact: Williams is the highest paid female athlete of all time, having earned $86 million in prize money during her career. The next highest is Maria Sharipova, with $38 million in prize money. If that's not total dominance, I don't know what is.)

Her list of tennis championships is a mile long. You don't even have to follow tennis to know that Serena Williams is a freaking powerhouse of a tennis player, not to mention one of the greatest athletes of all time.

And yet, there are dudes who believe they could take her on.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture
Alie Ward

Your dinner plate shouldn't shame you for eating off of it. But that's exactly what a set being sold at Macy's did.

The retailer has since removed the dinnerware from their concept shop, Story, after facing social media backlash for the "toxic message" they were sending.

The plates, made by Pourtions, have circles on them to indicate what a proper portion should look like, along with "helpful — and hilarious — visual cues" to keep people from "overindulging."

There are serval different styles, with one version labeling the largest portion as "mom jeans," the medium portion as "favorite jeans," and the smallest portion as "skinny jeans."

Keep Reading Show less
Well Being

The 2013 documentary "Blackfish" shined a light on the cruelty that orcas face in captivity and created a sea change in the public's perception of SeaWorld and other marine life parks.

This "Blackfish" backlash nearly deep-sixed SeaWorld and led Canada to pass a law that bans oceanariums from breeding whales and dolphins or holding them in captivity. Animals currently being held in Canada's marine parks are allowed to remain as well as those taken in for rehabilitation.

Podcaster and MMA announcer Joe Rogan saluted Canada's decision on a recent episode.

"First of all, what assholes are we that we have those goddman things in captivity? A big fucking shout out to Canada because Canada, mostly probably through the noise that my friend Phil Demers has created in trying to get MarineLand shut down, Canada has banned all dolphin and all whale captivity. It's amazing. I hope the United States does it well, I hope it goes worldwide," Rogan told his guest, economist and mathematician Eric Weinstein.

Keep Reading Show less
Planet
Youtube

Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities