updated 22 Jul 2013, 08:02
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Fri, Jul 19, 2013
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Leaving home to lead her own life
by Charlene Chua

Anupam Rai

When she was 21, her parents wanted to force her into an arranged marriage, she claims.

Now 23, Miss Anupam Rai says she insisted on not going through with the nuptials and ended up fighting with her parents over it.

The Singapore Accountancy Academy student said it got so bad that she ran away from home.

She said what dismayed her the most was that her parents had wanted her to marry a man in India whom she had never met.

Currently single, Miss Rai claimed that the incident had traumatised her so much that she is frightened of relationships.

Only when she meets a man she can "fully trust" would she consider dating.

She told The New Paper: "My mother's thinking was 'let's marry the girls off first'. I have a younger sister so I was first in line. I want to lead my own life because women have rights these days.

"My parents are very traditional because they grew up in a conservative village in India. My dad was the one who asked me to come home after I left and I did so only after making him promise that he wouldn't force me into marriage and he would allow me to continue my studies."

On Monday night, when we spoke to Miss Rai, she said that she had just left home again.

She claimed her parents did not approve of her joining the Miss World Singapore (MWS) 2013 pageant and her mum was upset she was at an MWS event till late on Saturday night.

She declined to put us in touch with her parents as she was not on speaking terms with them herself.

She said: "I'm staying over at my female church friend's house...

"I joined MWS so that I could speak out on women's rights and inspire young women to follow their dreams despite the odds."

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