'The Strength To Say No': A 11-year-old's fight against child marriage
In a remote village in Bengal, eleven-year-old Rekha and her large family live by rolling bidis, handmade cigarettes. She observes the sudden departure of her friends who marry and go to live with their mothers-in-law, where they are often treated like slaves.
In spite of her youth, Rekha is aware of the harm done to these little girls. When, in their turn, her parents find a husband for her, a man she doesn't know, she flies into a blinding rage at the idea of being taken away from school for good. After persuading them not to marry her off against her will, Rekha goes from village to village to tell her story and to explain the tragic consequences of early marriage. Thanks to her, dozens of children in the region found the courage to say no to this tradition. Her exemplary journey gained her the recognition of the highest courts in the land, and she went on to become a recipient of India's National Bravery Award.
Below is the book excerpt: