Once in a while, a story comes my way that needs to be told. In a country like India where child marriages are common and sometimes a necessity, it is a fact of life and girls are not heard. Most often than not, girls are seen as commodity that can be given away as wives in their teen years. While these families look at child marriage as a way to help the family financially, it has brought numerous people, most especially women, to protest against it.
Recently, five teen girls received some well-deserved attention for opposing to become child brides. These five young women did not know each other but their plight was the same. Each young girl stood up against this tradition even if it meant facing the ire of their family and community.Their determination to escape this plight caught the attention of India's President Pratibha Devisingh Patil. President Patil was so taken by the girls' bravery that she invited them to be her guests at the Rashtrapati Bhavan (Presidential Palace).
President Patil has been very vocal about eradicating social evils from her country and the ongoing battle of tradition over societal growth has spurred girls to oppose this age-old tradition. These teens who deliberately opposed the idea of child marriages have been recognized as "icons" by President Patil and encouraged to become symbols for other girls.
For Afsana, Sunita, Sangita, Bina and Mukti, their decision to rebel against child marriages was not for notoriety, it was to take a stand for other girls who have been placed under such situations and didn't think they could escape their circumstances. Their stand was unprecedented, but long overdue and their actions will be a symbol for other girls to emulate.
While I don't personally know anyone who has endured what these young girls have, it is quite inspiring for other young girls to know that their voices can be heard and that they can make a difference. That's my take on this, what's yours?
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