This young lady has been saving child brides for 11 years

Child marriage is a social evil which is still prevalent in  rural India. The rural areas have seen child marriages as a custom which is rigorously followed. A survey by UNICEF suggests that 56% of the girls in rural India are married off before the legal age of 18 years. The excuse of such deeds being the religion and culture! Vijaylaxmi is a victim from Rajasthan who has successfully fought against this social evil. Her parents following the tradition of the village tried to marry her  at a tender age of 13 years. She was being hitched to a man who was 15 years older than her. It is then when Vijaylaxmi started to rebel against her family.

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Vijayalaxmi with village girls (Image credits : Gulf news)

She desperately fought with her parents to prevent her marriage. She was even locked up without food and water believing that ultimately she would get ready to accept their proposal. But all these strict punishments were in vain as she was determined not to get married. She tried to explain her parents the difficulty of marrying at young age by quoting about her friend dying while giving birth at 14 years.  After intervention from the neighbours, relatives, her marriage was called off.

Vijaylaxmi then started to attend school, secured good grades and is now a teacher of a secondary school in Paghi. The news of her success spread in nearby villages and she has become an inspiration for all the girls to fight child marriages. She explains the families the cons of such an act and the importance of education. She even teaches her students not to marry before establishing a career of their own. She has made an informal group which swings into action to convince the families in village about problems of forced marriage when someone tries to perform one. It is this type of women our society needs to ward off the evils like – child marriages.

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