“It is very important to live in a realistic world. Girls’ education is very important to safeguard them from violence and to enable them for decent job” Nasira’s message for other girls.
Bedari is implementing Building Child Marriage Free Communities Program in ten communities of District Lahore. Capacity Building trainings and sessions for girls and boys have proven to be very useful as far as confidence, communication and leadership is concerned. While working in the field, we come across many cases where girls were married in their childhood and worse they were divorced at a young age. The age when a girl is to play, she becomes a divorced mother. Nasira is also among those girls who faced harsh consequences of early marriage and is now living a difficult life being divorced.
She belongs to a very poor family living from hand to mouth. Basic necessities of life always remained unfulfilled with financial constraints. Thus she started living in an imaginary world. She always felt that after her marriage she would have beautiful clothes and jewelry. Her in-laws would take good care of her and fulfill all her wishes. Nasira grew her interest in a boy from her family who used to give her gifts. She asked her mother that she wanted to marry him. At that time Nasira was 14 years old.
Since they both got married things kept changing. Nasira’s husband was jobless and wasn’t mature enough to take up the responsibilities. Eventually he started torturing Nasira and blamed her for the financial crisis. One day, he divorced Nasira and asked her to leave the home along with her 3 years old daughter.
The minimum age of marriage for girls should be 18 years, but Nasira at the age of 17 became a divorced with 3 years old daughter. Now Nasira along with her old mother and widow sister has to look after her 3 years old daughter. When she could not find any possible solution concerning her family’s basic needs she went to the councilor (locally elected political leader) of her area for help. The councilor is also a CPC (Child Protection Committees) member. He referred Nasira to Bedari. Nasira shared her tragic story with Bedari’s representative. She came up to us with a future plan as well. She wanted to take admission in a beautician course and take it as a profession for earning after its completion.
Bedari referred Nasira to a technical training institute where different training courses are being offered. Through Bedari, the course fee for three months was paid with the contribution of community members and Bedari staff. On completion of this course she would get a certificate along with a beauty kit by the technical training institute so that she may start her work at home.
Nasira said, “Since my childhood I saw my father torturing my mother and sister thus I thought of getting married as the best solution to escape from this environment. But I have learnt a lot from my experience.” Now Nasira’s attitude is changed and she shares a message for other girls “It is very important to live in a realistic world. Girls’ education is very important to safeguard them from violence and to enable them for decent job”.
Nasira is improving day by day. She is struggling hard to come out of this bad experience. She agreed to voluntarily work with Bedari and will share her life experience with other girls to save their lives.
Note: The name of the girl has been changed to ensure confidentiality.