NUMERO UNO

In the entire village of Bansipur (Munger, Bihar), there is only one college-goer. Her name is Julie Kumari.

If that fact has surprised you, what will add to it is that this is a village of ‘Musahars’ (stigmatised as rat eaters) and the college is situated at a distance of two hours from the village.

And there’s more to come.

 

Julie was studying in Class IX when her parents decided to marry her off…and this was the norm in the village. But she was busy dreaming of becoming a doctor, and nothing else could come in the way. Such resistance was unheard of in this extremely poor and backward village of Bihar. And Julie knew, it would be difficult for her to fight the battle alone.

CRY supported project Disha Vihar, had, in the meanwhile, initiated a children’s group in the village called the Munna – Munni Manch. They extended support by getting the staff of Disha Vihar involved. A series of discussions followed, and the wedding was finally called off.

Julie was not prepared for what followed. All her relatives and the entire village demanded answers from her parents as to why they went against the tide. The person who single handedly answered every question, and faced every hindrance was Julie’s mother. Herself an ASHA worker today, Julie’s mother had studied till class X before she was married off. She stood like a pillar for Julie and ensured that Julie not only completed her Higher Secondary but also went to college.

As her brother today accompanies her to college every day because it’s a long way from her house, he is helping her move closer to her dream of becoming a doctor. Because she had dared to dream, today her two other sisters are also continuing with their studies. While one of them is in class IX, the other is in class VII.

Julie has a list of firsts against her name today. It all started because she dared to dream. It was possible because her mother believed in her dream.

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