Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Bihar forms 14000-km long human chain against dowry, child marriage
On 21st January Sunday, 6th grade to 10th grade students from our Surya Bharti School participated in an big event to make human chain which was held all over Bihar state.
It was a campaign to support the law against Child marriage and dowry system.
The new law was settled by Bihar state government.
Although Child marriage and Dowry system were already banned by law long time ago all over India, there weren't many people following the law.
We, Surya Bharti School have been educating about preventing Child marriage from more than a decade.
Child marriage is very common in rural villages around Bodhgaya.
Usually, parents decide their daughter's marriage and her husband to be when their daughters are around 8 years old.
It is called first marriage, and the boy and the girl usually stay at their parents houses separately.
It is like an engagement.
But, in some cases, there are very young girls around 7 or 8 years old who are sent to her husband's house as a labor to help farming or households.
When a girl start having menstrual system, she would be sent to her husband's house permanently after having their second marriage ceremony.
They are about 13 to 15 years old.
In the beginning of our school since 2001, there were many girl students (around 13 years old) who suddenly quit school because of forced marriage by their parents.
I was shocked that a girl who was a brilliant student were forced to marry when she was in 6th grade.
After that, I asked our teachers to help give education about legal age of marriage to our students.
In India, the legal age of marriage for a girl is 18 years old and for a boy it is 21 years old.
If children get education and jobs, become rich, their parents could live easily in the future.
I Recommend marriage after getting job.
(there are many cases that children got married when they were students or at a very young age. It is difficult for them to continue their education, so they give up education and become seasonal worker.)
It is very important that girls get education because they will take care of their children's homework at home after becoming mother. The more better education a girl gets, the more their children's ability to study becomes better.
If women gets education about how to care or nurse when their family member especially small child gets sick or gets injured, they can help them very much.
If a mother has knowledge about hygienic life or infectious diseases, she can save her children and family members from diseases.
I have been telling these above things to the parents in various occasions.
And, of course, we participated in this human chain.
I'm afraid that this law can not make all the people to follow it.
The tradition can not be changed easily, without very strong actions by police.
Dowry system is also a very big issue.
It is a custom continued from ancient time, that bride family give dowry(money) to bridegroom's family at the time of marriage.
The dowry amount is cheaper when a girl is younger.
That is one of the main reasons that there are so many child marriage in rural area.
If parents want to get a daughter's husband to be rich then they have to pay much more dowry.
Parents who have many daughters have to pay dowry for each of their daughter's marriage which leads to serious economical problems.
In India, ultra sound test for foetus gender determination is banned strictly, because there are so many cases that people get abortion when they find their foetus gender are female.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar settled a law to ban Child marriage and Dowry system strictly in Bihar State in order to get rid of the bad custom.
I agree with him indeed.
I would like to spread this activity to more people with the help of teachers and the students of our school to co-operate with Bihar state government.