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Education not marriage

"If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door"

We have been working to prevent child marriages for decades, and our Udaan project was established four years ago to focus more on this violation of child rights. The team has already proven itself, leading us to the bold ambition to make the whole of our Ahmednagar District child marriage free within the next five years. It may seem like an unrealistic dream but we believe and have proven nothing is Impossible, (even the word itself can be pronounced ‘I AM POSSIBLE’) having stopped minors working in our district brothels decades ago.

As well as working with stakeholders to conduct outreach work to raise awareness of the child rights and marriage laws, the team is also supporting those rescued from underage marriage. Udaan is working with survivors of child marriage strengthening their health, reintegrating them back into education and working to make them self-reliant all of which helps them prepare for their lives as independent adults.

In the past six months, Udaan, with the support of the district administration, has intervened in 40 cases of child marriage, with those rescued studying between 6th and 12th standard. We firmly believe that when you educate a girl you educate a whole community and every child has the right to at least 12 years of education.

We are really happy and proud to announce that this year, five of the child brides we are working with have just received their 12 std results. Despite the emotional turmoil they have experienced this year they have delivered amazing results. One of these resilient girls secured 75% securing overall second position in her school. Another was just a few marks lower, attaining 73% marks coming third in the same school. The remaining three girls have also passed with marks of 52%, 48% and 46%.

This is such an amazing result for the girls and also shows the importance of our intervention. The minute marriage was suggested the doors closed on so many opportunities for these girls. We gave them the key to education which is helping them to unlock that door and move on with confidence to the myriad opportunities out there waiting for them.

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