A story of child marriage, in her own words
Anuradha was just 13 when child marriage – and motherhood – ended her dreams of becoming a teacher. Or so it seemed. Now 23, she’s a mother of three, a respected advocate for children in her community in India – and she’s back in education. How did she do it?
“Dawn had just broken and the skies began to turn bright. My mother, rather hurriedly, woke me up saying, 'Anuradha! Wake up! You need to do a lot of chores and get ready'. While my body resisted waking up, my inner voice screamed loudly, 'There is school today! Wake up!' It did not take a second longer for me to wake up and rush out of the bed.
"For the next two hours, I did all the household chores along with my mother – washing dishes, washing clothes, milking the buffaloes and a lot of other things.
"Just when I was going to get my school uniform, my mother yelled to me, 'Wear the new dress that we bought for you'.
"'But the teacher will shout at me for wearing that dress,' I corrected her.
"Little did I know that my mother wanted me to dress for an event that was going to change my life."