By Renu Agal BBC News, Mewat, Haryana, Wednesday, 5 April 2006, 11:49 GMT 12:49 UK
Anwari was sold for $220 to a man in Haryana
Anwari Khatoon came visiting a relative in the northern Indian state of Haryana eight months ago, but ended up getting married against her will to a local man with six children from a previous marriage.
A man from her village in eastern Jharkhand state had accompanied the 22-year-old woman on her journey to Haryana.
When she arrived in the village, Anwari found the man and her relative pressuring her to marry the man with six children, a middle-aged truck driver.
Her new husband paid 10,000 rupees ($220) to the man who brought her to the village.
"Can a young, single girl get married to a father of six willingly?" asks Anwari. "It is all fate. What has happened has happened. What can I do? My parents didn’t even get any money from this deal."
Anwari is among the several thousand young women from all over India who are literally sold-off to men in Haryana, a state notorious for its low ratio of girls to boys.
The going rate for buying a girl in the state is anything between 4,000 and 30,000 rupees ($88 to $660).
Sex slaves A cultural preference for sons over daughters has skewed India’s sex ratio in places like Haryana.
As a result of female foeticide, there are about 861 women for every 1,000 men in Haryana, according to the last census. The national average is 927 women to 1,000 men.
Since there aren’t enough local women to marry, Haryana’s men pay touts to bring women for them to marry and to work on their farms.