Dr Kriti Bharti and her NGO in Jodhpur, Saarthi Trust, arranged a special gift for a child bride named Nimbu by freeing her away from the bondage of unwanted child marriage.
In 2002, when Nimbu was just two years old, her marriage was fixed by the Panches community. The girl child, Nimbu, who is a resident of Baap tehsil of Jodhpur, got married off to a boy of Bikaner district. As years passed and she grew up, Nimbu wanted to be freed of the bondage of child marriage.
However, it was not easy as several community leaders threatened to boycott her family from the community.
In order to seek help, she contacted Bharti to help her. On her behalf, Bharti filed a case of child marriage at a family court in Jodhpur.
Bharti testified on behalf of Nimbu about her age and marriage ceremony in the court. As a result of this, Nimbu's marriage was finally annulled about a week ago. Through this case, Judge Mahendra Kumar Sinhal of Jodhpur's Family Court No-1, in his order presented an important message to society against such outdated practices.
Through the efforts of Dr Kriti, Nimbu has got a new life and now aims to become a police officer. Even decades after child marriage has been recognised as a crime, hundreds of innocent girls continue to suffer due to this menace.
Bharti who came to the rescue of Nimbu, herself had led a traumatic childhood. Her father who was a doctor by profession abandoned her mother even before Kriti was born. She faced a lot of problems in completing her education. Although after facing so many challenges in her childhood, Kriti transformed herself into a fearless crusader.
Through her efforts, Kriti, so far, has successfully got more than 41 child marriages annulled.
Saarthi Trust - Rescuing Girl Children From Menace Of Child Marriage
Saarthi Trust, the NGO that she runs, was started in 2011 with the aim of bringing greater social justice for women.
"After you stop child marriage, the girl child is treated like a social outcast. It becomes important to rehabilitate her and help her become a part of the society," says Bharti as reported by The New Indian Express
The Saarthi Trust also provides counselling to children, families and panchayats regarding child marriage.
Bharti's team takes charge of the rehabilitation of these children. As annulment of a child's marriage is not an easy task, her team approaches the girl's parents and tries to convince them against the marriage.
At times, the girl's parents are convinced and decide to call off the wedding. In some cases, they also approach the groom's side. However, convincing the village's elders to agree to this is often the most difficult task. The elders attach child marriage cases to the community's pride and it is not easy to convince them.
The team of volunteers in her NGO mainly works on two fronts. One of the main fronts includes working on the legal side to stop a marriage, while the other front is to build the capacity to rehabilitate the child and provide her with a better future. It includes supporting the rescued child with the education, vocational training and even employment opportunities in the future.
"I tell them that they will have to restart their studies from wherever they had left off. Many victims are not too keen to study again, but when they realise that they may not get my help without restarting their education, they agree," says Bharti.
Once Dr Kriti takes up a case, she feels that she has taken somebody's life in your hands and considers it a huge responsibility. With the remarkable work that Bharti and her NGO is doing, they have made several records which are now included in the Guinness World Records, India and the Limca Book of Records.
Creating a remarkable impact in the society, the CBSE has even mentioned Saarthi's campaign in the Class 11 syllabus. Apart from this, she has been included in the World Top Ten Activist List of Taff Magazine and the List of 100 Influential Women of BBC.
Bharti is also a recipient of Marwar and Mewar Ratna and many other national and international honours.
Even after doing exceptional work and rehabilitating many girl children, Bharti hardly gets any financial support either from the government or agencies like UNICEF. The indifference of the concerned agencies look makes her sad.
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