18 year-old teenager has 5 wives in Eastern Nepal

Marriageable age for a man as per the existing law in the country is 20, but one Bam Bahadur Badi of Jhapra-1, Fumna has five wives at 18.

Bam Bahadur had his first taste of conjugal life at 13 after marrying Sangeeta Badi, now 18, when he was a seventh grader.

His second wife Bishna Badi is now 19, third Kalika 20, fourth Jantara also 20 and the latest Kalpana is 18. He gave up studies after the first marriage and subsequently married four women. Bam Bahadur has no regrets whatsoever about marrying five women but has started to feel the heat while raising the family.

“I didn"t pay attention to education and married early in life. Now I neither have qualification nor a job,” he said. “It is almost impossible for me to get a job now and neither can I resume my study,” he added.

His parents are fed up with the son who brought home one wife after another. “What will he do in life after bringing so many wives at such an early age,” mother Bija said and then vented her ire on her daughters-in-law. “What sort of girls are they to agree to marry him despite knowing he has wives at home.”

“His father had just a single wife in me but he has brought home the whole village,” she fumed.

The polygamous teenager has left even his neighbors baffled. “He doesn"t earn a penny and has already brought home five wives. He has ruined his life. I wonder what plans he has for his future,” said Bir Bahadur Nepali, a neighbor.

Women rights activist Rita Rawal opined that the case of Bam Bahadur is common in the village that has widespread practices of polygamy and child-marriage.

Jajarkot President of the NGO Federation Khim Bahadur Shahi said polygamy and child marriage thrive in dalit communities due to lack of awareness and education.

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