A marriage will bring ‘happiness’, they say. But, for thousands of girls in the country, a forced early marriage has only brought haplessness. The blatant focus on an early marriage as the end-all goal of the life of many girls is a bigger threat to our socioeconomic fabric than we realize. Early marriages happen all across the country but the situation in Jharkhand and Odisha is much worse. Half of the girls there are prone to being married off at a young age, even before they turn 18, and that’s where physical, mental and social vulnerability steps in.
A young girl sits amongst a sea of students in a classroom – but one thing distinguishes her from the rest – the sindoor or a red powder on her forehead indicating her married status. She was married at an early age despite her protests. She wanted to study, but her parents married her off so that the “way could open for the rest of her sisters to be married.”
She has fought with her in-laws who didn’t want her to study and complete her education. She goes to school and has vowed to educate her sisters and not get them married before they turn 18. She has taken a stand to end a social evil. Will you?