Nibha Kumari’s Pursuit of Education
In a village Hardia, Raxaul Block of West Champaran district, Bihar, there lived a young and confident girl named Nibha Kumari. At the age of 17, she was studying in class 11 and dreamt of a future filled with possibilities. However, her path to success seemed obstructed as her family considered marrying her off at a tender age, following the customs and norms of their community.
Nibha’s father, Rajesh Mahato, worked as a daily wage labourer and owned a small piece of agricultural land. Despite his relentless efforts, their family struggled to make ends meet, and life was a constant battle for survival. Amidst their financial hardships, Nibha’s parents thought an early marriage for her, believing it would alleviate their burdens. But Nibha, wise beyond her years, knew that education was her ticket to a better life.
As fate would have it, a ray of hope entered Nibha’s life in the form of the project “Right to be a Girl,” initiated by the Bihar Voluntary Health Association (BVHA). Under this project, village-wise Child Protection Committees (CPC) called “Baal Sanrakshan Samiti” were established. Their primary mission was to safeguard children’s rights in the village and combat issues like child marriage, child labour, and child trafficking.
The CPC members underwent comprehensive training on their roles and responsibilities in preventing child marriages. They were entrusted with the crucial task of monitoring girls who are at risk of early marriage and raising awareness within the community to prevent such practices. Nibha’s village, Hariya, was one of the villages where the CPC formed under the project and actively working to protect the rights and future of girls like Nibha.
Led by the CPC, a dedicated team visited Nibha’s home, determined to help her family understand the long-term implications of early marriage. They compassionately explained the grave risks associated with maternal and infant mortality and the emotional and physical unpreparedness of teenagers for such life-altering decisions. The CPC members stressed the importance of education and encouraged Nibha’s parents to consider the positive impact it could have on her life and the entire family.
Through heartfelt discussions and firm determination, the CPC succeeded in convincing Nibha’s parents to change their minds. They recognized the value of their daughter’s aspirations and the potential she held within her. With the CPC’s support and Nibha’s determination, she was granted the opportunity to continue her education and chase her dreams.
In the following months, Nibha dedicated herself to her studies with commitment. Nibha’s parents, witnessing their daughter’s growth and accomplishments.
As she progressed through her academic journey, Nibha’s passion for learning and her unwavering spirit became an inspiration to her peers and the younger generations in the village. She actively engaged to spread awareness about the importance of education and the harmful consequences of child marriage. Nibha became a role model for girls in her community, igniting a wave of change that rippled through Hardia.