Roshni arranged to meet with the Sarpanch, their village’s elected representative. With her father by her side in full support, she made her case to the Sarpanch, calling on him to intervene and stop the marriage. But the Sarpanch claimed there was little to be done.
"Child marriage is common in migrant communities," he told her. "The joblessness and poverty inflicted by the pandemic are forcing many parents to marry their children. The families are exploiting lockdown restrictions to conduct low-cost ceremonies secretly. There is nothing we can do."
Roshni was undeterred. She knew that something could be done and she would use her perseverance to find a solution. She called upon her Room to Read social mobilizer, a woman mentor from her own community, for support. Her social mobilizer encouraged Roshni to use her communication and relationship-building skills to connect with other local agencies that could help. She encouraged Roshi to call Childline, a toll-free child helpline number, and the police, with a request to keep her identity confidential. With confidence building, Roshni made the calls.
The police acted swiftly, and informed the local Child Welfare Committee. Together, the police, representatives from Childline and members of the Child Welfare Committee traveled to the house of the girl and informed the parents that a marriage would result in legal consequences. The girl’s parents quickly called off the union.
Through Room to Read’s life skills sessions, Roshni developed the confidence, perseverance, relationship-building and communication skills to give a fellow adolescent girl the opportunity to continue her education and follow her dreams.
Learn more about Roshni in the video below.