Union minister Smriti Iran consoled an 18-year-old girl as she spoke about her harrowing experience of her life after child marriage.
The Women and Child Development Minister was at a national conference on skilling in non-traditional livelihoods for girls. During the conference, Irani interacted with girls pursuing education in “non-traditional livelihood” areas.
Smriti Irani Consoles Girl
One of the girls Irani interacted with was Gulabshah Parveen from Patna, who was forcibly married at the age of 15 to a 55-year-old man. Now 18, the girl is a resident of a village named Masaurhi in Bihar and manages a bakery.
When she began narrating her story, she became emotional and choked up, after which the host asked the audience to applaud her. Irani asked Parveen to come up on stage and share her story and encouraged her after she was unable to speak.
Irani held the girl’s hand and kept another on her shoulder to console her as she spoke about her experiences.
Parveen recounted how she suffered domestic violence and abuse and received no help from her in-laws or her parents. Her grandfather had forcibly married her off to an older man, who was already married and had eight to nine kids.
Parveen said, “On the second day of marriage itself, my in-laws ridiculed me. They verbally abused me and started torturing me in different ways”. When she told her parents about how she was being treated, they said they could not help her.
A Child Care Institution (CCI) rescued her and helped her find a job after three months of training. Now, Parveen works in the accounts department of Shakti Cafe, an outlet of Monginis bakery which is managed by the girls of CCI.
Parveen had contacted United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the officials informed her about Hello Smile LLP. She studied, did computer courses and accounting courses, and learned how to drive.
Parveen requested that the minister ensure that girls at such institutions be provided skills and jobs when they turn 18 years old.
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