Courageous Komal
Early marriage is extremely prevalent in India. Every year, approximately four million girls in India give birth to a child before the age of 18
Child abuse
Komal was married when she was 13 year old to a 28 years old man from her little village in the semi-arid and drought prone Bagepelli area, in the South of India.
It never rains in Bagepelli. Every fifth or sixth year, is a drought, followed by near famine conditions. Life is hard here and along with harsh conditions, education level is low and traditional social beliefs are persistent and pressing.
So Komal knew she had nothing to win when she opposed to her parents by showing her excellent performance and marks in school. She resisted her marriage as long as she could until poverty, tradition and social pressure defeated her.
It only took a couple of months for the little Komal to realize her husband was an alcoholic. These first two months turned into a painful initiation to child marriage through physical and mental abuse.

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Aged 13 is no surprise she had a miscarriage after seven months. Confined to her house, working for a violent husband and with a severe anemia, she conceived her first son who was born mentally and physically challenged.
Komal’s husband fled away and abandoned Komal to fend for herself with the tender baby.
This was an endpoint to Komal. With no other choice, she returned to her parents’ home where she stayed in total isolation from other people.
Terre des Hommes project Image in India aims to rescue children in the same situation of Komal. Child marriage usually leads to broken childhoods, broken dreams and a life in the circle of poverty, with no education, no means and in a very vulnerable situation.
Terre des Hommes project Image in India aims to rescue children in the same situation of Komal. Child marriage usually leads to broken childhoods, broken dreams and a life in the circle of poverty, with no education, no means and in a very vulnerable situation.
“Because I joined the program it gave courage to find an employment and start working for a living.”
Komal heard about Image and took the courage to be part of the project. Komal came out of her isolation and registered herself for a vocational training in tailoring.
It was at this stage that her deserted husband came back. Making the best use of the circumstances, Image team at Bagepalli convinced him to be part of the Spouse club, an initiation of the project aiming to educate and create awareness raising among men about their actions around their child wives.
Komal was deeply passionate about her new learnings and had a quest to lead a quality life. She found a job as a cook in a local school and continued to be active at the tailoring center.
Currently, Komal has been regularly provided with counselling support. Her family is closely in touch with project staff. She mentions that her self esteem has improved, she feels good about herself with increased confidence and zeal to lead a meaningful life.
“I was fortunate to join Terre des Hommes program which made me to come out of the house and realize the way forward in my life. Because I joined the program it gave courage to find an employment and start working for a living. Now I am extremely happy to be part of Image as this has helped me grow along with other girls by supporting each other.” says Komal.
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