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Social group marries poor nomadic women in India

AHMADABAD, India (AP) – An aid group says it has organized weddings for eight poor nomadic tribeswomen in western India to help them avoid prostitution.

M. Patel, secretary of the Nomadic Community Support Forum, says they found grooms from within the tribe in Vadiya, a village 170 miles (275 kilometers) north of Gandhinagar, the capital of Gujarat state.

She says 12 other girls who are minors are engaged to local boys and will marry after they turn 18.

Patel says poor tribeswomen who cannot afford marriage often became prostitutes.

The state gave the nomadic community 205 acres (80 hectares) of land but it was infertile because of insufficient water. Patel says her group has been digging wells in the area since 2006.

State officials were not available for comment Sunday.

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