This International Girl Child Day, we bring you the voices of the girls from various adolescent girl groups created by Kalapandhari Magas Vargiya and Adivasi Gramin Vikas Sanstha (KMAGVS) – projects supported by CRY – Child Rights and You, in Latur, Maharashtra.
These stories will leave you more than inspired!
Asha, Age 19
“My parents worked in fields and our living conditions were poor. I was getting my schooling, however due to difficult conditions, I often changed schools. When I was in the seventh standard, I joined the adolescent girls group through KMAGVS. I gained a lot of knowledge and awareness about child rights, including the government schemes and support provided to children. The group meetings were very insightful, and it gave me the confidence to work towards my dreams. I started becoming ambitious and I wanted to do something for my village and community. By the time I reached the 10th standard, my parents started looking for boys to get me married. I did not want to. I wanted to study further and become something. With the help of KMAGVS members I requested my parents to allow me to study further. I told them about my wish of wanting to serve for the society, and that I wanted to have a government job. I asked them to give me just one year to prove myself. I studied very hard. We could not even afford tuitions, so I studied all day. I did not want to move out and wanted to do something in my own village. I was adamant yet confident and applied only in Latur even though there was only one seat available in the women’s category. I got the seat.
I am happy, and my parents and teachers are proud as well, as today I’m the only woman in Latur who has got admission in the police service.”
Anusaya, Age 16
“I always lacked confidence. I could never speak up. It’s only when I joined kishori gat (adolescent girls group) with KMAGVS that my perspective changed. I gained the confidence to speak and took part in activities. With KMAGVS, we even got the opportunity to go to Nagpur to put forth the issues of children in front of the minister. We even had a morcha regarding the issue of load shedding, which got resolved. By knowing all about child rights, today when I see other younger kids having issues, we work together towards solving it as we are now well informed and guided. We also tried to stop a case of child marriage, took KMAGVS members help and tried to convince the parents a lot of times; however they went ahead with the marriage. We however continue to help girls who are dealing with difficult situations”
Gayatri, Age 16
“Most of the girls in my village were not studying. They were just involved in home chores. It is only because of once I joined kishori gat (adolescent girls group), that we started gaining the knowledge on child rights and the importance of education. Being a part of the kishori gat, we have now tried and stopped a lot of child marriages, by intervening with parents along with KMAGVS members. Getting basic education was once a difficult thing for girls in my village, and today we are all studying in college pursuing different careers.”
Kamini, Age 16
“I never used to take part in competitions in school, I lacked the confidence. After I joined kishori gat, things changed. I started gaining interest and confidence. I take part in most of the competitions and activities now. Today, I can convince my parents that I want to study further. Our gat also got involved in a case, wherein we wanted a child who had dropped out of school to get back to school. We went to her parents and told them about the importance of studies and that they would help the girl. It took a lot of convincing and they finally agreed. We were very happy. Today the girl is studying in standard 7th.”
Inspired, aren’t you?
You can help us create more such stories of hope here.