BREAKING THE CYCLE OF VICTIMIZATION
1] In the Hope of New Life
AGR Khatun, 19 year old girl belongs to a Katihar district. After the death of her mother, all responsibility felt on AGR Khatun to shoulder upon. Her father somehow managed to financially support his household by getting himself engaged in doing labour work.
From the same village of Katihar district where AGR Khatun also lived, a girl was married to a person belonging to Panipat of Haryana district. When she came back after her marriage, she started exaggerating everything in front of al the villagers about her in-laws place. She said that whichever girl is married to Panipat, their desire of good clothes, jewelry and food are always fulfilled with utmost priority. AGR Khatun was fed up of the poverty existing in her family for such a long time. Thus she easily got trapped into what her neighbor was saying. Along with her neighbor, a 55 year old man had also came along with her. Her neighbor took the proposal of marriage of AGR Khatun to that man. Witnessing her deplorable condition, AGR Khatun immediately got ready to get married to that person without showing any reluctance. She was only 14 year old when she got married.
After marriage AGR Khatun reaches Panipat. For four months everything was quite fine there. But as time passed on the whole scenario in the house started to change. AGR Khatun was beaten mercilessly and she was also tortured psychologically. According to AGR Khatun her father-in-law was also not good in nature and used to misbehave with her. Once AGR Khatun heard that her father-in-law was speaking to someone on the mobile. He was making a plan to sell her and the deal was almost final. After knowing all this, she somehow managed to run away from there.
But when she reached her home back, she was left with no option to earn her livelihood as she was illiterate. But after the team member of Bhoomika Vihar got in touch with her life to bring a change to a positive level. She works as a hawker and she even looks after her younger sister along with her with the money earned. She even participates in the entire programme organized by Bhoomika Vihar. She also makes an attempt to caution all the girls in the village to be aware from the traffickers. She is one of the most active Anti Trafficking Volunteers of Bhoomika Vihar Team.
2] Struggle for forgetting nasty memories
KKL Devi, 29 year old belongs to Katihar district of Bakhri Village. She was only 15 years old when she got married. Kokili was very active and spontaneous and she enjoyed loafing around for recreation. Quite often she used to go to a nearby village without informing her parents.
Suddenly a strange woman reaches her home from the nearby village with a proposal of marriage for KKL Devi from a boy residing in Delhi. She also influenced KKL Devi family by saying that the boy belongs to a very prestigious family. As her parents came to know that the boy belongs to Delhi, then without giving it a second thought they got ready for the marriage. KKL Devi and her parent’s dream of moving out of their village after marriage compelled them to ignore the hard realities waiting in their lives.
Her marriage was fixed to a man who was twice older than her. They also didn’t make any attempt to make proper inquiry about the boy before fixing the marriage. Seeing a good quantity of sweets and clothes given by the groom, made the whole family go blindfolded.
After marriage KKL Devi reaches Delhi. But as time passed on the whole scenario in the house started to change. The place where she was living with her so called husband suddenly became a den of sex trade. Her husband had become a tout for running sex trade. She was exploited, misused, day and night but sadly there was nobody to help her or listen to her grievances. At times when she opposed such things then she was made naked and was also beaten mercilessly. She was starved to death but there was no one to support her. Kolki had now become only a source of earning money. She was sold each and every day for physical abuse. The venue of exploitation frequently changed but the victim was only the KKL Devi
As time passed, she had become weak both physically and psychologically. Because of her illness she was sent back to her village by boarding Mahananda train. She remembered Kursela station. So she got down there and reached the nearby bus stand. There the villagers recognized her and thus they dropped her to her house very safely.
KKL Devi had now become completely silent now. She has also stopped meeting with anyone and used to remain aloof most of the time. The team of Bhoomika Vihar approaches KKL Devi and provides her with six month counseling. Extreme tortures have affected KKL Devi pessimistically. But because of the efforts made by the team member of Bhoomika Vihar now she runs a snacks shop. But in spite of all this KKL Devi is not completely fine and she still recalls the torture she faced in Delhi for eight months.
Now KKL Devi participates in the programme organized by Bhoomika Vihar. She also gets the support of her mother in running snacks shop.
3] Trying to integrate the scattered life
LL Devi, a 30 year old woman having two small children says, husband is looked upon as a prestige in the society who protects the sanctity of her wife. But unfortunately her husband himself disgraced and disregarded her. She added that today only money is like her husband which is always there with her and her children in her fight of justice. LL Devi father and brother got her married through a local tout from U.P for just a mere amount of Rs 10,000. Her mother opposed this marriage.
Unknown of this ongoing scenario at her home, LL Devi was dreaming of herself as a bride dressed in bridal dress. But as she reached her in-laws place, there was a complete different scenario. There she was only looked upon as machine to work all day and night. When she opposed, she was not only beaten up mercilessly but her hands and legs were also tied and were locked all alone in a dark room. LL Devi gave birth to a boy and was also expecting her baby. But during this period itself when her husband went to his in-laws place, then to everyone’s shock he got married to LL Devi younger sister. LL Devi thus decided to leave her home after her husband’s second marriage. Somehow she managed to escape with her son from there and reached her own home.
But sadly her father, brother and her sister-in-laws refused to accept her and they have even beaten her mercilessly. Her other relatives also refused to provide any support to her. Then she went to a nearby village in search of shelter. There she worked as a cook. But there also she was not safe because of her little daughter. Her daughter’s security became her priority.
At this juncture, team of Bhoomika Vihar came to know about her and her pathetic condition. Since LL Devi was illiterate so she was given the opportunity to earn her living by selling cosmetics and clothes of small children. Today she is well settled and she’s also looking after her children properly. She resides in a rented house where she feels much safer and secure. She also gets good support and respect from the villagers residing there.
RAISING VOICE AGAINST CHILD MARRIAGE
4] Sometimes speaking protect
16 yrs age old Nutan is keen interested in study right from her childhood. She belongs to a poor family who are completely depended on agriculture for survival. Her father and Brother in law fixed her marriage at the age of 16 with a boy from a neighboring village. She was not ready at that time as she wanted to study further. She opposed and was beaten up by family members. She was not allowed even to go outside until the marriage is done.
She informed her friend requesting to convey the message to the team of Bhoomika Vihar. Bhoomika Vihar team along with the Child Protection Committee members had approached the family of Nutan. Family was informed on the threat of Child Marriage and the legal procedures. Involvement of PRI members had forced the family to withdraw the decision other the police would have been informed.
She is safe now because of her immediate response and the collaborated efforts of the Child Protection Committee members.
5] Vocal girl initiate discussion with father
15 yrs age old Gunja Kumari belongs to a poor family where working in field is given more importance more than studies. Whenever she wanted to study she was called that what you would do by reading. No matter how much you read, you would have to get engaged in domestic chores. She was stopped at all times whenever he used to go to study.
She always shared that’s she wanted to become a teacher to get the poor marginalized children educated. Instead of reading she was told to take care of her younger brother and sister. She had to do all the house work; nevertheless she did not get to read. As a result of, she had to leave school.
During the meeting of Kishori Samuh, she had shared her experience and requested the Bhoomika Vihar team to bring her out from the demur condition. Team firstly had get Gunja united with the Kishori Samuh and lastly contacted the family to make them informed on the importance of girl education. Team had also requested the family for sending her to school, regularly. The family realized when they saw other girls doing best in studies and getting involved with multiple activities.
She actively now have continued her study of class 10th. She motivates the other family members for girl education and participation in the meetings. She does not even hesitate to speak out in front of mass population.
6] Education fight against poverty
19 yrs age old Aarti Kumari belongs to a poor family where all of them are dependent on the daily wages. It was difficult to get or manage food if they do not get work at daily basis. Spending was less than earning due to having a big family. She had to drop out from the study due to family pressure. Neighbor and surrounding people not even wanted the younger girls to read more or to room outside. But Aarti determination was much high to get higher education.
During a meeting taking place in her village, she interacted to the team members of Bhoomika Vihar. She had shown her inclination towards study. She and her family got motivated by the Kishori Samuh members.
She not only had continued her study but also started giving tuition to other children to manage the household small expenses. Because she was said that if she would read then who would get money for house. She started reading simultaneously teaching others to get money.
Presently she is doing Graduation from the local college. She rides bicycle moves in the remote areas to inspire other families for their daughters and children. She says, education is the real ornament not the jewelries. Stuff and properly can be lost or stolen, but not the skill or education.
By completing his dream, he also tries to connect others who do not like the girls moving ahead for higher education. She also supports her younger sister and brother in studying further.
7] Campaigning for higher study
18 years age old Asha belongs to a big family having 8 members including her, three sisters two brothers and parents. Her family do not have permanent source of income. Her parents are completely illiterate that they do not understand the importance of education for a child. According to them, teaching is just a wasting of time. There was no one who actually could support her in fulfilling her dreams to get further studies.
Primarily she got involved with Child friendly centre and later on with Kishori Samuh.
Her elder sister’s marriage was fixed suddenly. She got to know that her parents were planning to execute two marriages at same cost to save the expenses. She opposed and initiated to seek support from the Bhoomika Vihar team Members. Local PRI members were got involved in making the family informed on the threat of child marriage and available laws behind. They were said to stop the planning regarding Asha otherwise local police would be informed. Asha involvement was crucial at that time otherwise intervention would not be possible.
Asha is saved now. She had completed Intermediate and planning for Graduation.
8] Chasing Dream
16 yrs age old Reena belongs to a marginal family who completely dependent on agriculture for earning. And if the crop is wasted the family has to endure a whole year.
One day when she enters the house, she saw some unknown people were sitting in the courtyard. She was said to get ready with new clothe and jewelry. . When asked she found out that the people came with marriage proposal. Her mother instructed her for not questioning much. Her father already has given words to the people regarding her marriage. She was even slapped by her mother when she refused. Marriage was fixed, almost in upcoming months.
Reena now was very much clear that her parents are not going to consider her dreams or feelings. They do not even agree after much debate.
She seeing no hope from her own parents shared the situation with the Kishori Samuh and requested the team of Bhoomika Vihar for further support. Team with the support of local PRI members tried to convince the parents of Reena. The parents had to say that if the age is over then marriage will not take place in appropriate manner. It was said to inform the local Police when they did not agree. Finally they had to change their mind after much debate.
She passed out Intermediate examination and preparation for further studies.
She actively has been engaged with Kishori Samuh in convincing the parents for considering their daughter’s dreams and feeling.
9] Inspiring and Leading
17 yrs age old Juli Kumari belongs to a disadvantage family who completely are dependent on doing agriculture for maintaining household expenses. In the family, girl marriage should take place at younger age, traditionally. It is not allowed for the young age girls to move outside of the village. It is expected that the girls should get involved in doing household chores or manage babies in the house.
Her attachment to studies was very much. She just wanted a person who actually can encourage her in fulfilling her dreams ahead.
One day suddenly she got to know that her parents had fixed her marriage to an older age person. She refused but her parents were firmed on their decision. Some people also came to see her and to precede the marriage preparation. She thought that if she does not do anything then everything will be shattered
Her close friend namely Sabana Khatoon is an active members of Kishore Samuh. On that day, Sabana with her friends were holding meeting over there. The whole team reached the house of Juli where marriage preparation was taking place. She now had got the courage to speak out. Senior team members of Bhoomika Vihar was informed for immediate support. They reach and tried to convince the parents to rethink on taken decision. The girls said they will remain until the marriage is not cancelled. Lastly the parents had to consider the words of Juli and her friends.
She presently is pursuing Intermediate. She is much vocal now in convincing other parents on the threat of early or forced marriage.
10] Changing mind set
13 yrs old Fulmani is pursuing her study of class 7. She belongs to Santhal Aadivasi Community where literacy is not given importance as much they preferred to work as agricultural labor. Children play throughout the day or they too go to wage.
Her both parents died when she was too young. After death of her mother, her father had to reunite with her sister- in – law for proper upbringing of the small kids. After some time passed away, her father left due to acute illness. Situation became ever worst, when her little sister also died. She had lost her whole family.
She was in deep depression when team of Bhoomika Vihar interacted to her. She was not interested in study as she was been engaged either as agriculture labor or doing domestic chores.
Fulmani got enrolled to the Child Friendly Space Centre and later on to the local school. She first learned Hindi and then Hindi Songs. She actually works as translators for us to explain tribal language. She helped out in bringing relationship with the families where children without parental care were living. She added many children to the Child Friendly Centres who were away from the education.
Presently she has actively been engaged in facilitating the child club. She is a role model for other children who are living without parental care. She never hesitates to represent herself at state level platforms.
11] Achieving Life Goal
17 yrs age old Sita Kumari belongs to marginal family. Family depends on agriculture for livelihood. Her father is capable to earn anything. Since then the involvement of relatives increased.
During the monthly meeting of Kishori Samuh, a close friend of her namely Rabina shared that she would be married off in coming days. Relatives and her mother too want to get rid of the burden, as soon as possible. Rabina do not want to get marriage now as she wants to go ahead for higher education. Rabina was said to discontinue her study as marriage was fixed. She was even not allowed to go outsides. She without informing her parents came to the meeting.
Kishori Samuh girls and team members of Bhoomika Vihar reaches house of Sita. Mother was afraid of the safety of Sita. She was tensed of hearing cases of elopement of girls from the village. She was completely against the education as she believed that education can spoil the mind of a girl. More education always create obstacle in managing house culture or tradition, as her mother was concerned.
Sita was involved to the Kishori Samuh. Entire team contacted many times so that her mother could be convinced. Her mother had to change her decision by repeatedly taking the team intervention.
She presently is pursuing Intermediate. She inspires girls for further study. She moves in the villages and initiate talk with the mother so that they would support their daughters in achieving their life goal.
12] Leaving behind Condition
10 yrs old Priyanshu is continuing her class 3 education. Her father left the house after the birth of younger sister of Priyanshu. Her father was very fond of son, as she did not like daughters. After few years, she got to know the death of her father.
Survival was very tough for the single mother when the male member left out. Mother and the small children had to work as agricultural labor for bread.
Priyanshu and her family came in contact during the survey.
She looking for hope reached Child Friendly Centre somehow. She started to sitting over there. Life skills are also taught there along with basic literacy and knowledge. She got involved with Kishori Samuh, later on. She while moving outside of the village for attending meetings never paid attention to the discourtesy words. Her courageous effort had linked many drops out or out of school girls to studies.
Priyanshu was later on enrolled in local school and her sister was with Aanganwari Centre.
Priyanshu is an active girl as she actively participates in the meeting of Kishori Samuh. She does hesitate to speak out during the workshops. She openly presents her view and opinion during the activities. She inspires other.
She is getting monthly stipend and trying to change her life. Now she doesn’t work in field.
13] Maintaining Dignity
18 yrs age old Poonam Kumari, belongs to a marginal family. They mostly depend on agriculture for household expenses. Family has to suffer when there is no work ahead. They do not get work for years.
She is very much interested in completing higher study. She had to face a lot of opposition when she shown her interest in getting involved with Kishore Samun and later on with higher study.
She elaborated about an occurrence when she intervened and had saved the life of a girl. Her proficiency had defeated the planning of the local brokers. Local brokers had enticed the parents of N with marriage proposal. N belongs to a poor family where it was difficult to gather breads even twice. Local brokers had cheated the family by giving false promises about the future. The boy just gave the vermillion at night and said that they got married to each other. Some advance was also given to N parents with promises of great wedding in future. N was placed in another house. They were planning to leave the place in next day night.
Kishori Samuh girls somehow got to know about the night incidence. They suddenly had informed the senior team members of Bhoomika Vihar. Local Police was informed. Police started investigation and arrested Bhado Rishi, the local broker. After police interrogation, the local broker disclosed where he had kept Neeta. Neeta was rescued then and handed over to her parents.
Girl’s team worked together and rescued a girl from becoming the victim of trafficking.