A Child Bride’s Longing for Education

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Child SlaveryHuman Trafficking

Child marriage is deeply embedded into Indian culture.  It is a wide-spread social evil that, in spite of social efforts and new laws to prevent it, continues in many areas of the country.

“While most of the child brides reconcile to their fate, some of them fight back. One such girl belonging to a poor, tribal family from West Bengal, Santana Murmu was married at a tender age of 14. She was in class VIII when her parents got her married. After the wedding, she gave up school and soon gave birth to two daughters. However, what is beautiful and special about this child-bride is that despite an early marriage and motherhood, she returned to school, after a gap of four years in order to complete her education. And it doesn’t end here, as Santana is also actively working to stop child marriages and save other girls from suffering the same fate as hers. She was also invited to the 2015 UN General Assembly to share her stories with the world.”

What’s laudable about Santana’s story is her in-laws’ and her husband’s attitude towards her education. They have cared for her children while she walks 3 km every morning to school. She lives in a village in West Bengal and studies at Manikore High.

Satana’s oldest daughter, 3-year-old Vasundhara, attends the high school’s play school.  An NGO—Child in Need Institute (CINI)—has supported Santana in her desire to get an education. And her husband, Gobind Hemram, works as a laborer and has a strong desire for his wife to succeed in her education, although he dropped out of school before he graduated.

“Taking admission in the school, however initially posed some difficulties as the headmaster initially refused to admit her but the process was completed only after the Block Development Officer intervened.  Coming to her childhood, Santana always wanted to be a teacher. While her father funded her brother’s education till his masters but she was married off at 14.”

Santana’s spirit and undying love for education, makes her an example for all young women who are married off at an early age and are left without an education.

Indeed, there is no age bar when it comes to learning and Santana is an idol for women who wish to complete their education

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