Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Malda Girl Who Fought Against Child Marriage Forced To Stay At Home Because Of Harassment

What a shame!

She had been felicitated for her bravery for standing up against the evils of society, she had found support from her school and the administration, but now this teenager has been hounded into submission by locals in her area.

The Times of India reports that 13-year-old Beauty Khatun who has stopped a child marriage earlier this year in January in West Bengal's Malda and had become become the 'brand-ambassador' for the district's anti-child marriage campaign is now afraid to go to school because she is teased and harassed on her way by the locals.

The report suggests that while she had persevered earlier, the lack of support from her neighbours when she abused on her way to school and to tuition.

Child Welfare Committee chairperson Chaitali Ghosh told The Times Of India, "It is a shame for us that Beauty came to me crying, seeking protection, when we hold her as a model against child marriage. We shall never tolerate this and will visit her house. I'm also asking the police to take strict action against the accused."

Khatun has been felicitated by Mamata Banerjee for her bravery. She reads books of Nobel winner Malala Yousafza to gain inspiration.

While her mother says she never thought her daughter will face such harassment for the noble work she is doing, hopefully intervention from the Child Welfare Committee will change things around.

Original post here:

Malala of Malda’ hounded at home, can’t go to school

A 13-year-old girl attending a wedding ceremony earlier this year had noticed the bride couldn't possibly be an adult. Instead of taking part in the revelry, she raised her voice against the marriage and informed the administration. The marriage had to be stopped and the teenager — Beauty Khatun — became the brand ambassador for the district's anti-child marriage campaign. But ironically, Beauty is now being hounded and she has stopped going to school, fearing assault by local youths. The Child Welfare Committee (CWC) has reacted sharply and vowed to ensure her protection.

Under fire from locals, Beauty had stood her ground against the child marriage that was supposed to take place on January 17. She was rebuked and then allegedly assaulted by the elders of the village, who were fine with the wedding. Beauty had to be hospitalised, but she used the chance to divulge all to the police. The guardians of the bride and groom along with some relatives were arrested. Described as 'Malala of Malda', the Amrity village girl was felicitated at her home on February 24 by the BDO. On the occasion of Women's Day, chief minister Mamata Banerjee felicitated her among others to honour her courage. But now, Beauty has alleged although she got major support from the school and administration, she is being subjected to teasing and abusing in her locality by some youths following the incident.

She said initially, she did manage to put up a brave front. However, of late, the harrassment has increased and the neighbours too do not stand by her when she is abused on her way to school or tuition, Beauty alleged.

Those arrested in connection with the child marriage have meanwhile been released on bail and are allegedly threatening Beauty. She was forced to stop attending school. Beauty said she is trying to cope by reading books of Nobel winner Malala Yousafzai. Beauty's mother Jhasi Begum said: "I never imagined my daughter will have to pay such a price for doing noble work."

CWC chairperson Chaitali Ghosh told TOI: "It is a shame for us that Beauty came to me crying, seeking protection, when we hold her as a model against child marriage. We shall never tolerate this and will visit her house. I'm also asking the police to take strict action against the accused."