Nazima is a 15-year-old who dreams of becoming a school teacher and is very studious. For a while, she wasn’t able to attend school because her mother, Alek Jaan, couldn’t afford to send her and her little sister. Her father died in 2015 when Nazima was in 6th grade.
Her mother works as domestic help but does not earn enough to meet all her family’s expenses and school fees. Only with the help of our Implementing Partner, HASUS, Alek was able to get her daughter back in school.
When she was at school, HASUS conducted a Safe Village Program (SVP) in Nazima’s village, She eagerly learned about being a Guardian Girl and how to keep other girls safe in her village. As a part of our program, Operation Red Alert team educated girls and mothers on the physical and mental consequences of early child marriage and the legal age for a girl to get married. Child marriage often leads to trafficking.
Just a few weeks after attending the SVP, Nazima’s mother Alek told her she would soon be getting her married. Alek refused to listen to Nazima’s protest to the idea. As soon as this happened, Nazima called the Operation Red Alert helpline for help. Our helpline operators assigned the case to Implementing Partner HASUS, and they immediately visited Nazima’s house along with the local Childline team. The marriage was stopped.
If Nazima had not gotten HASUS’s help to go back to school after the death of her father, she would not have been there on the day the Operation Red Alert SVP reached her school, and she would have never learned about child marriage and human trafficking. She would have never known that there was a way to get help and stop the marriage.
Now Nazima is back to school and focused on becoming a school teacher one day.
In India, 47% of children are married before the age of 18 years. Child marriage is an understood phenomenon but the effects of it on young girls and their lives often go unrecognized by the public and policy makers.
Child marriage perpetuates the deterioration of health and human rights of adolescent girls. The issue is often viewed as separate from human trafficking but in reality, it is a common form of trafficking. Child brides have no say in the arrangement and become the property of the man they are married to, who more often than not, makes a trade out of the circumstance and innocence of the young girl.
Your donations make it possible for us to give families the choice to keep their girls safe from exploitation and violence. Help us educate more families, bring awareness to India and run its first national anti-sex trafficking helpline.
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