Sapna is a 16-year-old girl who was married at the age of fourteen. Now, Sapna leads a content life with her only son in a village from North Karnataka.This contentment was possible after she was able to avail a widow’s pension of 7,5 euros per month from the government.
Her life before the pension was filled with trouble. After puberty, she was married to a man from the nearby village.
Soon she found out that her husband had taken a loan for a huge sum. Unable to repay the sum, and filled with depression, her husband committed suicide. Her mother-in-law blamed Sapna for her son’s death and she was repeatedly tortured and not given food. She was sent back to her mother’s house.
At that time, Sapna’s son was diagnosed with Typhoid for which she needed money to treat him. Unable to provide for her son, she landed in depression. She was looking for a saviour.
At such a time, the organisation Vidyanikethan stepped into her life through the Initiative for Married Adolescent Girls Empowerment (IMAGE) programme, supported by Terre des Hommes. The programme aims to empower early married girls by providing them with health, education and social protection services. To address the immediate need of Sapna, the IMAGE staff supported her in getting access the Widow’s pension certificate from the government. Through the pension, she received 7,5 euros per month which she used to fund her son’s treatment. She was also enrolled in a Self-Help Group, where through a revolving fund, she received money to repay her husband’s loan.
Sapna and her parents are very thankful to the IMAGE Team of Vidyanikethan and Tdh for their valuable support.
Emotionally Sapna says “Because of IMAGE , I could come out of my depression and build my self-confidence. It was great that somebody was there to hear me and support me in time of need”.