No early marriage for Sabita as Oxfam India makes her mother see reason

No early marriage for Sabita as Oxfam India makes her mother see reason

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@OxfamIndia helped sabita avoid #earlymarriage and keep alive her dreams of education http://bit.ly/1PqWtqy

At the age of 16, Sabita had only one dream -- to complete graduation and financially support her family. But her mother had another dream – to see Sabita get married.

A resident of Mukhru village, Hazaribagh district, Jharkhan, Sabita and her family were going down on the financial slope. Her father, an agricultural labourer suffers from chronic health problems and her mother is a daily wage earner.

With three younger sister, Sabita had to take the responsibility of taking care of the family and balance it with her studies.

Sabita protested to her mother on the proposal of her marriage, but to no avail. 

She then consulted the peer educator of the village. After receiving clarity on the legal marriageable age (18 years) and the repercussions of early marriage, Sabita along with the peer educator and Sahiya, a community mobiliser went to the Village Health Sanitation and Nutrition Committee (VHSNC) members, which plays an important role in the village.

All the members of VHSNC tried to convince Sabita’s mother about the implication of early marriage but she was not satisfied with the discussion.

After 15 days, the VHSNC called for another meeting and  again tried to reason with Sabita’s mother, but she would not budge. 

It took time to convince Sabita’s mother, but real life examples of the severe health implications of early marriage on mother & a child finally made her see reason. Through the rigorous efforts of VHSNC, the marriage got cancelled.

Moreover, the community was willing to help Sabita’s mother financially when her daughter reaches the right marriageable age – an initiative mostly unheard of in the region.

But this was made possible due to Oxfam India’s intervention in the area. Three years of continuous work on community awareness among major stakeholders in the area on the issue of capacity building of adolescent girls and women, on early age of marriage and about personnel health & hygiene is bringing awareness among adolescents, parents on the implication of early marriage.

 


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