Many girls who are forced to marry must also quit school and become slaves in their husband’s home. They risk death if they fall pregnant, as their bodies are not ready to give birth to children.
Read stories and watch video clips about Ashok’s work, stories of the children he fights for, and facts on child rights and child marriage in India. In 2019, Dr. Ashok was chosen by millions of children as Child Rights Hero of the Year and recipient of the World’s Children’s Prize, (WCP), known as the “Children’s Nobel Prize” by worldwide media. Now, he is nominated to become the WCP Decade Child Rights Hero.
To raise the status of girls and save their lives and to put an end to child marriage, Ashok and his organization IHMP started Girls Clubs to give girls knowledge and selfconfidence and enable them to support one another in convincing their parents not to force them into marriage, but instead allow them to finish school. In Ashok’s Boys Clubs, 5,000 boys and young men have learned about child marriage, girls’ rights, and gender equality.
Since 1975, some 50,000 girls in 500 villages have learned about their rights and received Life Skills Education. The average age of a girl being married off in the area has risen from 14 to 17. Their age at the birth of their first child has risen to 18 on average, which means fewer young mums and babies are dying during birth. The goal is freedom for all girls and a society free from sex discrimination and inequality.
Goal 4: Quality education, for girls too. Goal 5: Gender equality. A stop to child marriage and all forms of harmful traditions, which also contributes towards achieving several goals, including Goal 1: No poverty, Goal 2: Zero Hunger, and Goal 10: Reduced inequalities.