Home > News > case study: Adivasi Ekta Sangathan (AES) mobilized villagers to stop child marriage

Daimati Saunta, aged about 16 years old who lives with her father Sambaru Saunta and mother Sukri Saunta at village Gamkapader, Kundra block of Koraput district. Daimati reads in class 10th at Residential school at Kermity. Her father is a farmer. When her marriage proposal came for the first time, her parents were agreed to accept that, due to the boy belongs to good family background. But Daimati was not interested with her family decision. She wanted to continue her study so she opposed it but it couldn’t impact to her parent. Daimati wanted to support from the outsider who will mobilize her parents to stop this marriage.

Adivasi Ekta Sangathan (AES) has been working in this locality since 2011 towards addressing tribal identity, child rights and livelihood issues. In 2015, AES started focusing on girl child related issues especially on child marriage at “Beti Zindabad” program through Regional Women’s Forum. AES volunteers Bhanumati Saunta, Jayasing Santa and Pradhani Saunta are very active to mobilize community to address local issues in the participatory manner. The Sangathan people have formed cbos in local, Panchayat, block and district level. Prahallad Saunta, the traditional leaders who is very corporative for the volunteers and always ready to help community people at time of their need.

Daimati decided to contact the cbo members through village volunteer. Volunteers were visited her house and consulted with her parents. They sensitized what are the demerits of early marriage and how it would be dangerous for their daughter. It will directly impact physically and mentally to her. Similarly they also mentioned that, as per the provision of Prohibition of child Marriage Act, 2006. If anybody committed or help to organize child marriage (who are not attain the age of maturity) they will punish according to the law.  So, to avoid that entire situation it should be better to stop marriage at this moment. It could be proceed when both of them become adult.  This topic also raised in the village meeting by the cbo members. Bridegroom’s parents were not satisfied with the decision of cbo members but Narsing Saunta (Bridegroom) understood and changed his mind to stop marriage at this moment. Narsing convinced his parents and successfully postpone the marriage. At the end both the families were agreed to wait till their completion of their age. Finally it was decided to complete the formalities of negotiation process and postpone the marriage.  Now Daimati is happy and continue her study. She thanked to AES for their support…

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