CRY UK Preventing Child Marriage in Jharkhand

Published on April 12, 2023

Mehrunissa, a 16-year-old girl lives in Yogitand village, Jharkhand. She is studying in class 9 and is a very hardworking student. Everyday she also takes time to help her younger siblings with their studies and her mother with household chores.

While she was enjoying her work at school and home, one day she came to know that her parents had initiated negotiations for her marriage. She was devastated, she knew that marriages below 18 years for girls are a crime and it adversely impacts a child's physical, mental, and emotional development.

Since the discussions about her marriage started, she gradually became irregular at school.

Mehrunnisa was an active member of one of the adolescent groups run by CRY. The team initiated discussions with families on education and health of girls. Mehrunissa was determined to use this knowledge to change her community's mindset and achieve her dreams. She was adamant that she wouldn't be a victim of child-marriage.

She summed up some courage and somehow managed to share her problems with other members of her adolescent group. She also faced her parents and informed them about the legal consequences of child marriage. Her family still believed marrying young was best for her. The team intervened and counselled her parents. Gradually, Mehrunissa's parents began to see the importance of girl-child's education and the adverse effects of child marriage. They took an oath to provide good education to all of their children. These drastic behavioral changes of her parents, was a victory for her confidence and self-belief.

Mehrunnisa is now happily continuing her studies and going to school regularly. She aspires to get an education of the graduate level. She also wants to prove herself as a youth leader and an active member of her adolescent group. Protesting against her own marriage with the support from her group members and CRY has sparked a will to help other girls like her.

She wants to work for her community to help them understand the importance of education for girls and the terrible impacts of child marriage.