Once Forced Into Child Labour, Rumi Is Fighting For A Marginalised Community This Election

Meet Rumi Kumari. Born in the village of Burmu in Jharkhand, to a family of poor farmhands, where no one considered it important for her to have an education; she was sent at the tender age of 8 years to work as a domestic worker in Patna. But Rumi wasn’t one to sit quiet. In a rare and admirable display of courage and determination, she ran away from the capital and made it back to Burmu – 35 km away – solo, because she wanted to go to school. Today, she’s a proud alumnus of Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya, Burmu, and recalls her childhood rebellions quite fondly.

Rumi Kumari

If her achievements so far haven’t been tremendous enough, this year, she added another feather to her cap. Ahead of the General Elections, Rumi joined hands with children from across the country in putting together a charter of demands from the upcoming government to align efforts and build a nation that puts children first. A first time voter this General Election, she represented the children of Jharkhand, to present a consolidated list of demands to leaders from across political parties.

We caught up with Rumi during the event for a quick chat about the demands that the children had listed. In a thought-provoking and insightful discussion, Rumi revealed the following powerful thoughts, demands and solutions that underscore the potential the nation’s children have as the future vote of what’s set to be the youngest country by 2020:

Incentivise Learning In Schools


The Link Between Access To Clean, Drinking Water And Children’s Development


Need For A Ban On Narcotics And Alcohol In Jharkhand


Improve Implementation Of The Mid-Day Meal Scheme


Impact Behavioural Change For Better Hygiene


On Child Marriage


Need For Government Accountability On Development Initiatives

The India Rumi Wants For Children


Rumi dreams of an India for children, where there’s no malnutrition related death, every children receives quality education, and children – especially girls – are not rampantly trafficked or forced to marry at an early age. Do you agree with her demands and solutions? Write in to share your views on how children in Jharkhand can see the India of their dreams come to life. 

Similar Posts

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below