Unniti

The objective of the project is to create awareness about the negative impact of early marriage on the health and well being of girls, among the people in East Singhbhum district of Jharkhand. Also, stress needs to be put on education, gender equality and changing the patriarchal mindset.

It is very important for us to do this work since Jharkhand is home to a large number of tribes where this custom is still actively prevalent.This is also prevalent in the industrial city of Jamshedpur and the settlements both within and on the priphery of the city.

Early and child marriage are the worst forms of exploitation since it denies the young an opportunity to grow and empower themselves, in the name of custom,tradition,security for the girl child and patriarchy.

Early marriages are a big threat to the human rights and well-being of children.  It challenges the basic right of these children to education, health, protection and development.

DSCN1191 DSCN1214Early marriages have serious negative consequences on several levels:

Education and economy:Because they are married early, little or no focus is given to their education, hence the girl is left to be completely dependent on her husband financially and is not part of any decision both about her and her children”s lives. Pulling the girls of the schools perpetuates the cycle of poverty and thereby, curtails the overall economic growth of the nation.

Sexuality and violence:Young girls with low levels of education are more likely to experience violence by an intimate partner. A young girl who is still struggling to understand her own anatomy is forced to make conjugal relations and often show signs of post-traumatic stress and depression owing to sexual abuse by her older partner. Neither their bodies are prepared nor their innocent little minds. Forced sexual encounters lead to irreversible physical damage. The psychological damage cannot even be comprehended.The girls are three times more likely to experience marital rape. The girls who marry after 18 years are more likely to talk to their husbands about contraception, discuss when to have children and how many. Young brides face a higher risk of contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases owing to her marriage with an older man with more sexual encounters.Young girls who are less than 15 years are five times more likely to die during child birth than those in the 20s. The infant mortality rate is very high because the young body of a woman is biologically not capable of maternity.

Owing to their tender age, some of them are sexually exploited by other men in the family and they are too scared to go out and complain. Some of the girls who marry young also join the bandwagon of perpetuating cruelty against women. In the absence of proper education, little do they know that the gender of a child depends on the father and not the mother. Sex determination and female foeticide continue, for a girl child would possibly further add to their woes.

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The project can be achieved by creating a trained group of twenty  young female facilitators who can go out into the community and spread awareness about the impact of early marriage on the health and well being of girls.These youth facilitators can also create awareness about the importance of education in reducing the incidence of early marriage in girls.

The major beneficiaries will be people of communities and areas where there is a very high incidence of early marriage of girls. They would include both males and females of the community and family of the targeted group and certain education institutions as well where the parents of the girl students will be targeted.

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Direct outreach – 700 approximately

Indirect beneficiaries – 2000 approximately

METHODOLOGY

1.Mobilisation in colleges and communities for getting the group of girls interested in coming for the orientation.-

Month 1

2.Orientation in two colleges and our office premises about the project and the roles and responsibilities of the girls.

Month 1&2

3.Selection of a group of girls who will attend the workshop .

Month 1&2

4.conducting a workshop to train the selected girls.

Month 3

5.mentoring for action projects.

Month 4

6.Monitoring the action projects

Month 5

7.Reviewing and assessment of the projects and their impact on the selected target group.

Month 5&6

8.closure event and felicitation of all participants.

Month 6