29 Jul 2016

No Marriage Now!

Rajiya Khatun is a member of YRC KYP
My name is Rajiya Khatun. I am 16, and live in a village called Kuldia. There are 6 members in my family. My father is a flower-farmer.

I had a fun filled childhood. I used to play a lot and even swim in the pond when I was a child. I don’t know when people around thought I had grown up.

Last year I got a shock when our neighbour visited my home unannounced, with a marriage proposal for me! This neighbour is a lawyer and he said he knew a boy who would be a good match for me. He initiated this process with both families without even asking us!

The local youth group YRC KYP heard about this proposal and they immediately came to talk to my family. They spoke to me and my parents telling us that I was too young and this proposal was unacceptable. I myself was and still am not ready for marriage. I want to study, have fun, be part of the group, earn some respect. Self-respect is very important for me.

Saved, the day before I was to be Sold!

Purnima is a member of
YRC Nabadisha
My name is Purnima, and I am 17 years old. I live with my family; my parents, elder sister and my younger brother. In my neighbourhood there are few good people & few bad, but everyone loves me. We used to live in the village and faced some difficulties because my father never worked. This caused stress between my parents.

But then we moved to the city and my mother started working in people’s homes. She paid for our school expenses. My mother always encouraged us telling us to “study as much as you want”. I used to do all housework & looked after my brother when my mother used to go out for work. As I grew up, I lost interest in studies.

I met a boy from another neighbourhood and we used to meet and talk on the phone. We met for a year and I fell in love with him. Then one day he said we should elope. We got married him in a temple near Canning without informing my parents. A friend of mine who was having a bad time at home also ran away from home and joined me.

But unfortunately the boy was not as good as he seemed. After our marriage, he bought us train tickets and sent me to Delhi in a train alone with my friend. From Delhi station, someone took us in an auto & then a cycle rickshaw to a house. That evening I overheard some phone conversations and came to know that the boy had planned to actually sell me from Delhi.

I'm Too Young to Marry!

Raj Nandini Jha is an active member and
Peer Leader of YRC Youth Voice
My name is Rajnandini Jha. I am 13 years old. I have my parents, younger sister, brother and me in my family. My mother works at people’s homes, and my father is a driver.

I live in VIP Nagar, which is not a good place to live in. If I speak with even a younger boy people start spreading rumours. If women go out a lot, people take it badly.

I remember my grandma (father’s mother) always ill-treated my mother because she was a Bihari and not a Bengali. She would give her stale food and complain to my father about her. My father would believe grandma and beat up my mother. I used to feel so bad for her. I would save some of my share of the food to give to my mother.