When children stand up for other children

Published on September 3, 2020

Story Of Reshmi From Bihar

When Reshmi* overheard her grandmother tell her father that it was high time for the 16-year-old to be married, she felt numb and helpless.

In her village in Samastipur, Bihar, girls are generally considered a burden, even in this day and age. It is believed that marrying them off by the time they complete 10th grade is the only way to keep them safe and prevent them from eloping and bringing shame to the family. But she never thought that her own family would feel the same way about her too. While JJBVK, a CRY project in the district, has been working to eradicate child marriage in the community - the issue is deeply rooted in old beliefs and traditions that take a lot of time and effort to address.

Reshmi, who has been an active member of JJBVK’s adolescent girls' group, confided in her friends. This forum, which educates children about child rights and provides them with a safe space to talk about their issues, has been a source of support for many. Realizing the plight their friend was in, the members of the collective spoke to the CRY project team and visited Reshmi’s house the very next day.

At her house, Reshmi’s friends confidently opposed the family’s decision to get her married at such a young age – with logic and reason. Their arguments not only made the family realize their error but also moved them enough to vow that they would support her to continue her education and chase her dreams.

Recently, Reshmi passed her 10th grade with flying colors! With the closure of schools due to the lockdown, she is at home but continues to study so that she is prepared for whenever school reopens.

May she fly high and inspire many others just like her!

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*name changed to protect the child’s identity