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How Roshanara Defied Her Parents and Said ‘No’ to Child Marriage

Nineteen-year-old Roshanara was almost forced to abandon her education when her parents decided it was time for her to get married. 

Based in Delhi, India, Roshanara and her family survive on one meal a day. Their tough financial situation is exacerbated by her father’s gambling problem, which eats up much of the salary he earns as a rickshaw puller. 

However, Roshanara was able to go to school and joined Room to Read in 2007, where she benefitted from its Girls' Education Programme, gaining valuable life skills and an inspiring mentor. The skills she learned proved pivotal when circumstances pushed her to stand up to her parents. 

Before she reached 10th grade, her family decided to marry her off instead of keeping her in school. 

“What will you do with the education?” her mother told her. “You only need to cook and clean.” 

Roshanara could not understand why her parents believed she should give up her education for the sake of a husband.

“What if my husband is incompetent?” she asked. “If I am educated, I can run the home.”  

An excellent point. 

In the face of cultural pressures to marry early and an entrenched belief that girls do not need an education, Roshanara's confidence and resilience is inspiring.

So did she succeed in convincing her parents? Watch the video to find out. 

Room to Read not only helps girls go to school, it helps transform communities through the lives of young women like Roshanara  who break the barriers to girls’ education for future generations. 

This #GivingTuesday give the gift of opportunity and help keeping more girls like Roshanara in school with Room to Read. Together we can #ChangeTheirStory, find out more here.