Taking India’s Daughters Campaign 2017 to the rural areas of Lucknow, the Study Hall Educational Foundation’s Vidyashali School in Mahilabad organized an Awareness March against child marriage on May 17, 2017. The students of Vidyasthali participated in the march which started from the school and covered thoroughfare areas neighboring village Saliamau.
A street play – Bal Vivah Ghulami Hai - against child marriage was also staged at four different locations during the match.
Over 200 community members signed the petition against child marriage as part of the signature campaign.
This awareness march was preceded by a series of critical dialogues with the Vidyasthali students to build a deeper understanding of the detrimental social norms and to question malpractices like child marriage. Post these discussion children prepared placards and banners to take out in the community and also drafted the script for the street play which was staged during the march.
The procession made stops at local mosques and temples collected signatures of Faith Leaders on a pledge against child marriage.
The Panel Discussion / Parents Orientation Program on Child Marriage being organised Prerna Girls School as part of the India’s Daughters Campaign started with Street play titled – Baal Vivah Ghulami Hai.
During the program, the parents of newly inducted 150 Prerna girls were being sensitized about the perils of Child Marriage after which they signed a pledge that states they will not marry their girls before the age of 18.
The panel discussion in child marriage began with two Prerna alums. One of the Prerna alum who was married off very young said that had she not been married she would have been educated and had a job like other Prerna Girls.
Another Prerna Girls, Nidhi shared how she shunned child marriage and pursued her education. She is now a special educator and is supporting her family.
Babita Singh, DySP, Women Powerline 1090 also spoke with the students and sensitized them about the perils of child marriage. Shae also said that after 18 forced marriage should also be stopped.
Rangoli Kashyap, a student of Prerna Girls School shared how one of her friends who was 13 years old was going to get married. She tried to stop it by talking to her parents but did not succeed. Then she informed the police and stopped her marriage. As a result, two people were also arrested on the day of the marriage.
Suraj, a student of Prerna Boys School shared how one of his brothers was subject to child marriage. His first child died also because of lack of care. He also shared how his brother is still having trouble making ends meet as he is uneducated.
Dr. Urvashi Sahni raised a potent question that does parents who are pro child marriage not love their children.
A parent also came forward to share that she was married at 13 years and now her husband is no more. She is struggling to raise her only girl and despises child marriage.
She also added that a girl should be able to choose her own life partner after the function the parents also signed a pledge against child marriage.
Vidyasthali School celebrated Earth Day on May 1, 2017. During the event, Vidhyasthali students participated directly or indirectly in raising awareness about the environment. Competitions were held in the field of art (poster making) and Rangoli, Hindi and English poem, elocution with the theme of earth.
Dr. Urvashi Sahni, President of Studyhall Educational Foundation, met Dy CM Dinesh Sharma and discussed the state of primary and secondary education in Uttar Pradesh. Dr. Sahni, who is also a member of the Rajasthan chief minister’s advisory council (education), appraised Sharma about how administrative reforms in Rajasthan had lead to the migration of 10 lakh students from private schools to government schools in Rajasthan.
Prof Sharma showed the keen interest in knowing how the change was brought about in Rajasthan. He said that the current Yogi government was determined to bring about positive changes in primary and secondary education and he would like to discuss this further.
To this, Dr. Sahni explained that integration of primary and secondary school, reducing teacher vacancies, rationalization of teacher appointments based on the need of the school, a collection of accurate school data through a technology portal, Shaala darpan, along with increasing teacher accountability were among the major factors for change.
As a follow up of the meeting, Dy CM Dinesh Sharma suggested that he would like to arrange a presentation before the chief minister Yogi Aditynath and table her suggestions to chalk out the roadmap for educational reform in UP.
She also presented a memorandum to stop child marriage in UP as part of the India’s Daughters Campaign being run by the Study Hall Educational Foundation.