17-year-old Chaya Kumari’s story is a powerful example of how with little help, a determined child can stop the harmful practice of child marriage, starting with getting her own marriage cancelled.
Despite coming from a poor family living in Jharkhand’s Baswariah BMG, Chaya Kumari was able to take a stand against her family’s wishes and prevent her own marriage from taking place. Her sheer determination was fueled by the support and guidance provided by the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation and the district administration, who worked together to convince her parents of the serious consequences of child marriage.
Chaya Kumari took her intermediate exam in 2023 and was awaiting the results. Meanwhile, her parents began looking for a suitable match for her after her elder brother’s wedding. Despite her opposition, Chaya’s parents did not budge and fixed her wedding for 6 June 2023.
Undeterred, Chaya decided to take matters into her own hands and reached out to the Block Development Officer and narrated her story, requesting the officer to intervene and prevent her parents from marrying her off at an inappropriate age. With the intervention of the BMG team and the district administration, her parents finally agreed to call off her wedding.
Chaya dreams of becoming a teacher and is now free to pursue her education and make her wishes come true.