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Profile: Kriti Bharti, defender of children’s rights

Kriti Bharti has prevented over a thousand child marriages

Profile: Kriti Bharti, defender of children’s rights

Kriti Bharti has prevented over a thousand child marriages

Profile: Kriti Bharti, defender of children’s rights

Kriti Bharti has prevented over a thousand child marriages

Profile: Kriti Bharti, defender of children’s rights

Kriti Bharti has prevented over a thousand child marriages

Kriti Bharti secured the first annulment of a child marriage in India. Nearly ten years later, she’s still fighting for the rights of girls who are married too young.

According to UNICEF, around 1.5 million girls under eighteen are married every year in India, despite the fact that it is against the law.

Kriti Bharti is only 34 years old, yet her work over the past decade has been hugely important in turning the tide against child marriage. Her organisation, the Saarthi Trust, based in Rajasthan, has annulled over forty child marriages and prevented hundreds more from taking place.

One of the key issues Bharti has addressed is the social stigma against girls who succeed in annulling their marriages. Often, this is only the beginning of their troubles: when they return to their family homes they are social outcasts, leaving them with bleak futures. Bharti has helped changed this through working with communities to educate them, and through helping former child brides continue their education and become independent.

She has faced considerable hostility, including death threats, but refuses to give up. And through her work, she is changing social norms and helping build a more enlightened, inclusive India.

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