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“My name is S. Jothika (aged 15 years studying 9th standard in Ponthavakkam I am from Venkatapuram village. In my village more number of girl children are sent to schools by parents immediately after attained puberty. Girls are facing violence and more sexual abuse. Because of this reason parents are arranging marriage for girls at an early age.

Since I am attended trainings organized by IRCDS and member I am able to speak about child rights courageously. I talked with parents why you are not sending children to schools after attained puberty. If children goes to school then only children can able to grow physically and psychologically sound. Then only children will gain motivation in studies. Parents are fear in sending children to schools. We (children club members) interacted with parents, said don’t fear, we are also girls and requested them to send their children to schools. We assured that we will take girls to schools and bring back safely. Afterwards parents are start sending more number of children to schools.

One girl married at an age of 13 years and gave birth to six children. Then she died. Now all six children are starving for food. If these children become schoolable age we will support them in enrolling schools. Here after we will prevent child marriage in my village.

Again she added “My parents arranged marriage for my elder sister and they stopped her from going to school, I explained to them about the negative impact of child marriage with the support of my friends in the children’s club. My sister’s marriage was stopped and now she is continuing her education. I understand that in our community poverty is a major cause for girls getting married early. I believe through education we can overcome poverty”

othika is a CFAM group representative and actively engaged in creating awareness other children, adolescent girls/ boys, parents and community members on child protection and she used to sensitise her grandfather who is one of the opinion making leaders in the community in Venktapuram village. Her grandfather prevented one child marriage by sensitizing a girl of a grandfather. Now he is like good will ambassador in the village for preventing child marriage and protection of children from all kind of abuses.