13-10-2017 01:00 PM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
Courageous crusader fights social evil
Knowledge is power - this is evident from the story of a young girl, Priya Jangid whose life changed when she came to know that child marriages are illegal. Living in a patriarchal and conservative society, she had helplessly accepted her fate when the news of her marriage was broken to her one day when she returned from school.
Priya who hails from a village near Alwar dejectedly informed her teachers about it, one of whom informed the members of Bachpan Bachao Andolan- Kailash Sathyarthi’s organization to fight child marriages. An Andolan volunteer met her and informed that child marriage is illegal and her father could also go to jail. She was also informed about the perils of early marriage.
Armed with this knowledge, Priya confronted her father and was able to convince him and her grandmother to call off the marriage. The news spread like wildfire and the family was looked down upon.
Priya then began to visit the families whom she knew to discuss the ill effects of child marriage. Soon peoples’ perception changed and gradually she was accepted. In 2015, she met former US president Barack Obama and wife Michelle Obama in Sweden as part of a delegation with Sathyarthi. This event earned her fame and she became a 'celebrity'. Priya said that her celebrity status helps as people listen to her with conviction. Her efforts bore fruits and villagers pledged not to solemnize child marriages.
Priya formed a Chhatra Sansad (student Parliament) to discuss issues relating to her village and nearby ones. On Wednesday, the International Day of the Girl, she held public meetings and spread the message that "child marriage is a sin and the girl child a blessing." Her efforts bore fruits and villagers pledged not to solemnize child marriages.
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