The Huffington Post - While Most Kids Wrapped Up 1st Week Of School, 31 Million Girls Were Kept Out Of Classrooms
Across the globe, students stocked up on fresh supplies and caught up with old classmates last week. But for 31 million girls, there were no teachers to meet, no first-day jitters to quell and no new homework to get cracking on.
As I entered the hut, I paused. Pulling the end of my dupatta (piece of cloth used by women to cover their chest and head), I wiped off perspiration from my brow. Mariam came forward to greet me and holding my hand, led me inside her hut.
Up until two months ago, 13-year-old Sangita Devi had never set foot in a school. She grew up in a household in India where she and her older sister assumed all of the responsibilities while her two brothers were in school.
Half of the world’s out-of-school children live in conflict-affected areas. Getting those children back to school can save their lives, their health – and their futures.
They expected her to stay home until she got married. She chose school instead.
As the oldest daughter of a poor family in a rural Indian farming community, Laxmi, age 12, was destined to do housework, watch after her four younger siblings and marry at age 14.
This ‘burden’ said no to child marriage, and demanded an education instead.
It was all arranged, even the dowry.