Amrita knows what she wants in her life – to get an education and become a teacher.
She was able to stop her own marriage and continue her studies.
When Amrita was just 16 years old, her mother told her that a family would come and make her a marriage proposal. The 9th grader couldn’t concentrate at school as she was familiar with her village’s tradition of marrying away girls before they turn twenty. She feared that her parents might agree with the proposal under pressure from their community. When she returned home from school she made it clear to her parents: “I won’t marry unless I am 20 under any circumstances. Please send away the family that is coming to see me tonight.” She pleaded with her mother to stop the wedding.
The prospective groom arrived with his family after Amrita had gone to bed. Due to her stance against the marriage, Amrita’s parents declined the marriage proposal despite the family promising affluent life for their daughter as the boy was going abroad for work.
“My daughter has learned at a life skills learning programme that getting married and giving birth to children before they turn 20 is risky, so she was not ready to accept the proposal and declined it.” Thus Amrita’s mother. The news of the cancellation of her marriage travelled throughout her village and she earned praise for her courage. Amrita has continued with her studies and she is currently in the 11th grade. She wants to be a teacher to educate underprivileged children in her village.
She currently juggles her studies, work and domestic chores and her parents are proud of her. After returning from classes in the morning, she helps at home, teaches her siblings, works in the field and later educates the neighbours about reproductive health.
Sadly this story is unique, there are hundreds of girls across Nepal who cannot make the same choices. Child marriage appears to be a common problem in Nepal’s rural areas. About 50% marriages take place before youth turn 18 due to a lack of awareness, poverty and weak enforcement of child marriage legislation. When a young girl is forced into marriage, 9 out of 10 her right to education is ceased.
Let’s break this cycle together – less child marriage and more access to education for girls.
You can support in many ways, simply by sharing and talk about this site so other people can read about the ‘why’ of my Himalaya Challenge, by writing a guest blog about what equal rights and access to education has brought you, by joining the trek yourself, and… last but not least, by making a donation via the button ‘support’ on my fundraising page.