Puja's story is one of breaking barriers, the barriers that continue to trap girls like her into poverty and powerlessness. Her story shows, though, that these barriers can be broken, and this project is helping to do just that.
"A girl of Class IX fell into a relationship with a young man. Her parents came to know about the affair and to prevent Puja and her boyfriend seeing each other, they stopped sending Puja to school.
After a month, Puja left her house to enter a school examination, but she ran away with the boy rather than going to school. In Indian culture, when a girl runs away or falls in love with someone, it brings embarrassment to the family. The society doesn’t accept the girl and the parents never dare to bring the girl back even if she is a minor.
But, the mother of Puja broke this huge barrier. With our help, she mobilised other members of her women’s group, local club and even the local government member of the village to search for Puja. By evening they found Pujawho was undergoing a marriage ceremony. Her mother brought Puja home and declared the marriage as null and void by removing the Bindi and breaking the shakha-pola (customary practices which a married Hindu woman in the community must wear). Puja is now back attending school with the support of the project, her family and the village community. This is a significant positive shift in attitudes, thanks in part to the awareness building of the project."
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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