Aman Tara's Educational Triumph Beyond Vows

Published: Feb 15, 2024 Reading time: 3 minutes
Aaman Tara Khatun (Despite  of being married, husband supported to enroll in school) from Rajpur-3, Baluwa. While studying in CLC, she got change to boost her knowledge and learning proficiency. During the period, she had interest to go to school and wanted to achieve higher study. But her father didn’t allowed stating the reason that she was already married and it is not their culture to go to school for married girl.  Later, she shared about the activities of CLCs and interest to go to school. It is her husband who persuade her father and family to enroll in school. Because of him, she got enrolled in 7th Grade in Kishan Ma vi, Baluwa. Now, she regularly goes to school. She is also a active listener and a speaker.
© Foto: Govinda Siwakoti for People in Need

In many Muslim communities in Southern Nepal, achieving proficiency in Urdu serves as a fundamental educational milestone, particularly in elementary education. Young girls are sent to Madarasa when they are school-age, and their education stops after three years of study. They are then trained at home, especially to excel in domestic roles. For Aman Tara Khatun, 18, from Rajpur, life was no different than any other girl in her community. Her studies stopped when she was eleven.

Aman Tara is the sixth child in a family of nine. Due to financial difficulties, she and her siblings could only dream of attending school.

When Aman Tara turned 13, she got engaged. There may be a significant time gap between the engagement and wedding, or Gauna, in her community. For Aman, it has been five years since her engagement. During this time, she started to learn tailoring to help her family financially. However, she aspired to further her education, which her sister fully supports.

Her dream came true when the Aarambha project, supported by UK Aid’s Girls Education Challenge programme, reached her village. When they knocked on Aman Tara’s door, the enumerators were surveying for out-of-school girls. She shared, “When the survey team arrived, my parents were away, and I was home with my sister. Excited, she listed my name to enrol at the centre. My sister and I were thrilled but nervous to break this news to our parents."

Aman Tara's parents supported her idea of attending the Community Learning Centre (CLC), but they were unsure. Aman Tara was already engaged and needed to consult with her future in-laws regarding her decision. Her father-in-law was opposed, but Aman Tara tried convincing her fiancé, and he supported her decision. She finally enrolled at Samriddhi CLC, established by the Aarambha project and led by People in Need in partnership with Aasaman Nepal and Social Organization District Coordination Committee (SODCC). At the centre, along with her primary education, she learned about health, hygiene, and the consequences of child marriages.

Once she completed the course, she wanted to attend a traditional public school, but her in-laws insisted she participate in vocational training instead. Aman Tara, however, held her ground and talked to her fiancé. "I told him everyone in his family has an education; even my younger sister-in-law is in grade 12. I don't want to feel inferior when I join your family. I also aspire to be a good mother and provide a better future for our children, and education is crucial for that,” she recalled. Eventually, her fiancé agreed, and her in-laws followed.

Aman Tara is studying in grade seven at Shree Kisan Secondary School and aims to complete her master’s degree. Her wedding date is approaching, but both families have agreed to postpone the date.

Aman Tara found support for her educational journey through government scholarships, waived admission fees, and the opportunity to enrol in a free five-month bridge class run by the learning centre that included a school uniform and stationary materials. Aman Tara is grateful to have a supportive fiancé who helped her overcome the challenges that came her way and dreams of becoming a teacher to inspire and educate future generations. She also expressed that CLC should be in the community until every girl can get an education.

Autor: Onion Films for People in Need

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