Study Hall Educational Foundation Success Stories

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Success Story - Karishma

Sought help from teachers to stop her marriage

This first story is about a child marriage attempt that was thwarted. The real cause of celebration in this story, other than the forestalling of a forced marriage, is the manner in which the community rallied around the victim. It highlights that the Aarohini message is taking root and spreading its influence. Friends of Karishma, the intended child bride, informed their teacher, and the process began. It eventually grew to involve the KGBV, DSH, Suraksha, Childline offices in Bareilly and Badaun, and the local police and local government. It was gratifying to see a swift and decisive response to the planned crime by both the school and the childline team.

Karishma is a 15 year old girl studying in class X at KGBV Myuan. She lost her father when she was a young girl. Her grandparents pressured her mother into arranging a marriage for Karishma. When she was told of the plan, Karishma objected and informed her mother that she wanted to continue her education. Her pleas were ignored, and a mar0riage was being planned.

Karishma confided in a fellow student, who immediately informed the warden of the school. The teacher approached the mother, but was unsuccessful in her attempts to convince the mother to stop the child marriage. The date had been fixed for the 1st of May 2016, and Karishma’s family refused to budge. Shashi, the warden, informed DSH on 21st April, and requested help.

The Aarohini Program Manager, Swati, had spoken to the mother on a number of occasions and learnt she did not want Karishma to marry. However, she was under tremendous pressure from her parents and extended family to force Karishma into marriage. Despite continued counselling from Swati and Suraksha counsellors, the wedding date was fast approaching.

Faced with no other option, Childline in Bareilly was contacted and all the details of the case passed to them. The Director of Childline, Aneesh, forwarded the case with full details to the local branch at Childline Baduan. Due to the urgency of the situation, the local Childline representatives visited Karishma’s mother and grandparents. They brought a Superintendent of the police with them.

Once the legal consequences and ramifications dawned on the grandparents of their illegal attempts to force a minor into a wedding, the marriage was postponed. The family is receiving counselling from the DSH Aarohini team, Suraksha and Childline Baduan to prevent any further attempts to force an unwanted wedding on Karishma. The situation is on-going and being closely monitored.

Thanks to the intercession of her teachers, Karishma has returned to her studies. She is both happy and relieved to be able to make her own choices for her own life. For the moment she is safe.

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