An anti-child marriage crusader
The battle continues every day and the young mind shines no matter what
Jolina Ch Marak, a teen spirit igniting a movement of young innovator to stop child marriage in her village community; the story of another youth leader, another change maker. Jolina joined the WAY (We Are Young) foundation, when she was entering her teenage years of 14. It is stated that the most bright minds are found inside the coverings of deep shells and the story of Jolina justifies it to the most. At the initial stage of her working under the WAY team, she seemed to have an introverted approach towards life. She had a spark in her that
wanted to do something different, something for the goodwill of her people and only time could lead her to the path she belongs to. As it takes courage to push yourself to places you have never been before, to test your limits to break through barriers. Hence, God opens millions of flowers everyday without forcing their buds. Likewise she started working with WAY. Eventually a football team was started under which, Jolina was one of the most active members. She would play not only for attendance rather for the sake of passion. Jolina was not only a good player but also a responsible team-builder; a member with leadership qualities. She would go and ask for other members who might be absent during practice, the reason for their unfitness in the field and encourage all to play.
Looking at all these qualities, she was nominated by the foundation for a sport leadership exchange program under the USA government. Well, "God helps those who help themselves", young Jolina got the opportunity to colour her wings and fly high. She went to the USA and gained an experience of a lifetime. After coming back from the states she bought a bag full of innovations, a mind full of stories from change makers around the world which made her see the root causes of the problems that are faced by her community and people in the village.
Social evils such as child marriage which made a lot of girls drop out of school leading to a destructive rudderless life, are some of the issues that was faced by her community members. Looking at these root causes of social destruction she took the weapon of voice and stood up to take social actions under the same. But the main turning point of her life arrived with the news of her friend getting eloped, who was of the same age as her. This particular incident shook her to the depth of her mind, leading to the change she brought. After the incident of her friend's eloping, Jolina along with her other friends started a movement under which they mobilized a bunch of elderly women who themselve were the victim of child marriage. The team madeunderstood the severe disadvantages of child marriage
to the village ladies. After which, Jolina's team forced the members of their village panchayat to bring a change in the policy rules and functioning of it. They convinced the panchayat members to raise voice against child marriage and teenage eloping of boys and girls. It made compulsory for anybody to file an FIR against the one who is found under the guilt of accepting or encouraging child marriage or someone who accepts or supports the decision of the young couples getting eloped. Likewise some other major decisions were taken introducing a community library for the villagers.
The battle continues every day and the young mind shines no matter what. This was the story of Jolina who is currently the leading figure of her community. She takes the responsibility to ensure that nobody falls under the trap of child marriage and other social evils. She is currently 17. The bud of victory is always in struggle and truth, thus, sharing stories about how young people are leading change is a powerful tool to inspire other young people to do the same for a blooming spring of tomorrow