Quarterly Bulletin

Bal Raksha Bharat



I was in the 5th standard, when I learnt from my friend that she is getting married. The idea was alien to me, as my family always supported education, but she and her family were convinced that this is the right thing for her. This made me realise that we needed a mindset shift to discourage such practices against children. It’s not happening to me does not mean that it’s not happening.

In due course, I was invited to the meetings conducted by Save the Children who was working with the children of my community for better education. I soon found my means to lead the change that I wanted to see. I started working with my army of children who were ready to take on all challenged. We named ourselves Tarkeeb (meaning thought process in Urdu) groups and started heading to households in the community whose children did not go to school. We had multiple counselling sessions with parents which slowly started yielding results. The children from those families were admitted to schools. From 25 to 50, the journey was a roller coaster, but I knew this was just the beginning.

Since then our peer groups, with girls in majority, have been instrumental in motivating parents to send their children to school. Save the Children have been a wonderful supporter, they have enabled us to lead our own causes and now we are proud to do so.

Now when I visit those friends, who got married so early and are mothers now, they desire to come back to study. I wish I am able to make every child realise the need and importance of education, so that they are able to take the best life decisions and never regret later.

Farhana has been recently featured on the 2021 India Cohort of Ashoka Young Changemakers. Ashoka Young Changemakers is a carefully selected network of young people who have found their power to create change for the good of all; and are ready to take on their next big role at a global level.