What do you think of when you think about India?
Most people think about a developing country where businesses out-source call centres and tech support. But life is very different in the countryside.
46% of girls in India are undernourished
Rural areas like the Kalrayan hills are a very different place. A place full of wonderful, hard working people. But a place of poverty and illiteracy, where things are especially challenging for girls. Over 200 million women in India live below the poverty line. In fact 46% of girls in India are undernourished.
75% of women in India are married underage. Some as young as thirteen.
Can you imagine getting married at thirteen? What about your child? Yet that is common in India, especially in the more rural communities.
But girls don't just have to face underaged marriage. They also face sexual abuse and poverty.
Give a child a choice
We live in a world spoilt for choice. We encourage our children that they can be whatever they want to be, do whatever they want to do. But in many parts of India, girls are a cost that poverty stricken families feel they cannot afford. For them, marriage seems like the only option. They have no choice.
But it doesn't need to be that way. A good education changes everything.