Humara Bachpan Trust (HBT) steadfastly upholds the conviction that children can emerge as empowered agents of change, transforming not only their own lives but also those of their families and communities. To achieve this, HBT is committed to shielding children from all forms of abuse, discrimination, and harm, encompassing physical, sexual, emotional, and neglectful aspects. Recognizing the paramount importance of establishing a protective environment, HBT lays the groundwork for a future where children can flourish, learn, and contribute positively to society. This commitment extends to breaking the shackles of premature unions and addressing social injustices such as child marriage. HBT in partnership with Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation (KSCF) is working in 150 villages of Patana, Ghatgaon, Keonjhar Sadar, Bansapal, Harichandanpur, Hatadihi blocks of Keonjhar district towards eliminating child marriage.

Child Marriage Free Keonjhar Campaign

Among the children protected by HBT Railway Childline, out of 742 Children contacted in the post-pandemic period, 34% cases of child marriage has been registered. The majority of these cases were reported in Keonjhar district. So the joint initiative between Humara Bachpan Trust (HBT) and the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation is committed to the ambitious goal of eradicating child marriage in the specific region of Keonjhar district. The detailed plan involves various strategies and collaborative efforts to address the root causes and consequences of child marriage.

  • Conduct community outreach programs to engage with residents, families, and leaders to understand the prevailing factors contributing to child marriage in the village.
  • Implement targeted awareness campaigns using various mediums, including posters, wall painting, and community meetings.
  • Disseminate information about the harmful impacts of child marriage on children’s well-being, education, and overall development.
  • Provide training sessions for local leaders, including Sarpanch and Mukhiya, by taking a pledge to eradicate child marriage in their communities.
  • Emphasize the role these leaders can play in advocating for change within their communities.
  • Create avenues for economic empowerment and skill development for young girls, enhancing their prospects for a better future.
Impact Stories

Stop Child Marriage to Save the Precious Childhood of a Child
A minor female child named Rajani Mahakud (name changed), 16 years old who has been residing with family at Saruali village under Barkote PS of Deogarh District.  She is the elder daughter of family and she has two younger siblings, both are school going.  Parents are illiterate and depending on daily wages.   Very poor and miserable financial situation of the family and it takes lead to discontinue her education after 10th standard.  Parents work as daily labour to survive and support the family. With so much difficulty, they were supporting their daughter’s education till 10th standard.
Due to the discontinuation of education, maximum times she had been feeling uneasy and depressed.  Time roles on and during her home staying, Rajani fell in love with a boy named Prasant Barik (23), driver by profession who lived under Nayakote PS of Banspal Block, Keonjhar District.  So Rajani left away from and came to her boyfriend’s home for the purpose of marriage.   As situation, both Rajani and Prasant’s family were agreed and prepare to solemnize the marriage at home because early marriage practice was going on their society.
Soon then Humara Bachpan Trust, Access to Justice for Children, Keonjhar team got information about this early child marriage case through the volunteer.  As per case intervention and after collecting of valid information, HBT team informed details about this case to the CMPO and Local police.  During case interrogation by the CMPO and Sarpanch, the family came forward and according to their opinion it is the custom of their society that if once it was cancelled, nobody else came to marry her in future. 
The child was rescued; awareness meeting was made by the CMPO regarding demerits of early child marriage in presence of the Sarpanch, Ward Member, ANM, AWW, SHG members, Police and villagers.  After counselling both families they realized their mistake of marriage, agreed not to make arrangement of marriage before crossing 18 years of age of Rajani.  Rajani  also wants to pursue her study and do something in her life.
The child as well as parents was given proper counselling by the CMPO.  Rajani parents’ were provided mental assistance to lead a normal life along with their daughter.  The police registered a complaint against the child marriage.    The child was handed over to her family as per the order of the CWC, Keonjhar in safe situation and provided emotional support.  Humara Bachpan Trust team including the CMPO encouraged child as well as parents of having her enrolled in a college so that she can continue her education and work towards a career before setting down in a marriage.  HBT team continues to be in constant contact with the child as well as her family for further counselling sessions and to ensure a safe and happy childhood for child.
The biggest achievement is everybody who presented during awareness meeting, understood the hazards of child marriage and bad impact of child marriage in the society.

A Child Needs Education Not Marriage to Lead a Prosperous Life
Kanaka Mahanta (name changed) is a 16 year old girl from Nelung village in Keonjhar district, Odisha. She is studying in class 9 at her village school. In her family she has Mother (36 years) and Father (42 years), and a younger sister who is studying in class 7. Poverty and financial situation of family stand as obstacle to discontinue her school education. Kanaka’s family members started looking for suitable match for her as marriage at an early age is a prevailing practice of Mahanta community. The village committee which includes stakeholders such as AWW, ASHA, ward member came to know the matter, they intervened and did counselling of the family members as well as of the child after which the marriage was cancelled.
After a village level meeting, the parents of the girl realized that early marriage is a cognizable offence and has negatively influences children’s rights to education, health and protection. An undertaking was signed by the child’s father in presence of village committee members in the month February 2023. However the Anganwadi worker came to know that the girl has started staying in the boy’s house with whom her marriage was fixed. HBT conducted child marriage awareness program in the village just few days before, hence the village committee sought help of HBT team. The team started home inquiry, consulted with the child and her parents as well as village committee members. After proper counselling by HBT team, the parents had to again call off the marriage.
The girl was given proper counselling by the HBT team and now she is staying at her home with families. Parents as well the child are assured not to make arrangement of marriage before attaining 18 years. The HBT team doing continuous follow up with the girl and her family and encourages her to continue her school education or enrol in any skill institute to take the vocational training. Now the girl has agreed to take admission in vocational course to build a career and then will get married. She stays “I have given commitment to HBT ‘Access to Justice’ program not to marry and will build a career. I will also make others aware about the consequences of early marriage in my village. Humara Bachpan “Access to Justice” Sathi mane Mo Akhi Kholi Deichhanti Mu mo njia saha,mo paribara re kaha saha kimba mo gaon re kaha saha epari hebaku debini, ”Mu Balya Bibaha Ku Kada Birodha Karuchhi).