JAHANNARA- FIGHTS BACK
Along with the several good effects of SABLA-KANYASHREE Prakalpa, one of the most significant outcome of the program has been preventing Child Marriage. One of the best examples is seen in Karimpur-2 block, Dhoradoha-2 gram panchayat in Nadia, West Bengal. The village Dogachi Sabjipara has a Muslim minority dominated population. The total population is 726. Most of the people are daily laborers. One such family is that of Jahannara Khatun.
Child marriage was quiet prevalent in this village. But Jahanara was determined not to fall in this trap.
She did fear the situation at first when the only bread earner of her family died very early. She and her 2 brothers dropped out of school and one of her sisters had already got married at an age of 14 years. As she had joined the Kishori Samooh group, it had helped her understand the evils of child marriage.
She also closely watched her sister's troubles and sufferings due to child marriage. Jahanara was therefore sure, that she will not get married before 18 and will study well to support her family.With the help of the Anganwadi worker and other stakeholders the Head master of the upper primary school and the Panchayat member she was re-admitted in 9th class.
But, the story doesn’t end here. An unexpected turn of events destroyed Jahanara’s dreams. Her family fixed her marriage without her consent and she was unable to make her family understand about the decision. She retaliated and the kishori samooh group went to the BDO and appealed to him to prevent the marriage. The panchayat member was also unable to do anything about it. The BDO and the police then got involved and sucessfully the bride’s side to never to get involved in any child marriage.
This was an very strong eye opener for all the villagers because never did the local authority, the BDO and police got involved in a marriage. Though this single incident would not make the Dogachi Sabjiparaa early child marriage free village but certainly a step has been taken towards that direction.