Obituary of The founding father of Bihar Dalit Vikas Samiti, Dr. Fr. Jose Kananaikil
…A Movement by the Dalits towards claiming freedom, equality, justice, and dignity…
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Case study

Seventeen year old Phool Kumari from Rammuniya village was one of the participants who came for a five day refreshment course in BDVS.

An orphan, her father is dead and her mother works as a daily wage labourer.

In Rammuniya, there is only one school, the government run Middle School Rammuniya , which is an elementary school up to the eighth grade only. Therefore those students who wish to complete their secondary school must go outside the village. Phool Kumari was enrolled as a student of class 10 in the Rajkiya Ambedkar Balika Ucha Vidyalay in Samastipur. She lived in a government girls’ hostel and wanted become a teacher.

However, her mother called her back because the relatives and other people in her community objected to girls’ higher education.

Phool Kumari said, “In my village girls are not allowed to study as people believe that girls get spoiled by getting education.” People discourage and taunt the girls who go to the school.

After returning to her home, she is taking tutorials so as to prepare for the secondary board examinations, exam but is not sure whether she would actually be able to take the examinations. This is because her family has ‘fixed her marriage’. This is nothing new in her village because most of the girls are married before they complete secondary level education.

Phool Kumari said ‘In my village there is only one boy who has passed his 10th class exam. She hopes that with the support of the bDVS animators, her parents will allow her to complete her secondary school examination. But the bare facts are there to see: early and unsafe marriages are a reality in Bihar.

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