Poverty forced 17 years old, SHOUHARDO III adolescent girls’ group member, Priti from Kishoreganj to drop out of school while studying in class 5. As she took on the role of the group leader at the Rangpurhati village adolescent girls’ club, she was nominated to receive training on how to make beaded handbags as a part of SHOUHARDO III and Department of Women’s Affair agreement for skilling up school dropout girls. She received a three-month long, non-residential training and BDT 6000 (USD 70.79) to help her start making handbags. She could bring in an income of about BDT 500 to 600 (USD 5.90 to 7.80) a month by making these handbags, and resumed her studies.
While she was perfectly happy with the way things were going, her family arranged her marriage soon after. Being a part of the adolescent girls’ group, she was well aware of the imminent dangers she could be facing if she gets married before the age of 18. She didn’t succeed despite trying her best to convince her parents to delay her marriage. She knew she had to take steps to stop her parents from pushing her toward being a victim of child marriage. Priti shared, "I went to my class teacher, who contacted the local Union Parishad member to stop my marriage.”.
After a long 18 to 20 days of negotiation, her family finally had to step down and vowed to marry her off, only after she turns 18. Priti says, “Women in this society will continue to face obstacles. We just need to be bold and stand up for what we want in life.”