Survivor Leaders of Utthan Collective often visits the community for prevention and sensitization of trafficking. Recently Utthan has taken up an exercise to map the vulnerability of children in their own villages. During one such interview, Leader Rexona had gone to a school. She was interacting with children of different ages and was trying to understand their vulnerabilities. In the midst of it, a 14 year old girl disclosed that she is getting pressured form her family for getting married. Rexona found the girl extremely distressed. The girl was relieved that she had found someone to share her pain with, who was listening. She narrated how her family was forcing her to get married and how badly she wants to avoid this marriage.
Rexona, realizing that how vulnerable the girl was and the threat to her life and liberty, immediately contacted the school teacher and reached Child Line. Child Line later took up the matter and interacted with the family and made them understand the ill effects of child marriage. The family agreed and the marriage was stopped.
Sometimes all it takes to avoid a far great danger is a leap of faith. That day the girl took a chance and was not disappointed. It was her faith and Rexona’s courage. The school teachers played a significant role in stopping the child marriage but none of the teacher was aware about the child’s emotional state and family pressure.
According the UNICEF data of 2017, 27% of girls in India are married before their 18th birthday and 7% are married before the age of 15. Many of the child marriages can be stopped only if the children get a proper trust worthy situation and person to talk only. Rexona proved that it is possible for one person to change the fate of another with courage and determination.