"I wish to continue my studies to fulfil my dream of working in a bank."
A rescued child bride from Hyderabad, India, has revealed that she wants to become a banker. Sandhya has spoken about her ordeal as a teenager.
In 2016, her parents decided to get her married at the age of sixteen before she could write her final exams. She said:
“My parents had severe financial problems and could not afford my studies. Worried, they decided to get me married.”
Her parents made a living by ironing clothes. Sandhya was set to get married and quit education permanently but she told her friends of her desire to study further.
Sandhya’s friends then told the teachers who subsequently informed the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Balala Hakkula Sangham.
The organisation intervened and prevented her from becoming a child bride. Sandhya was taken to a state home for girls.
However, the cancellation of her marriage had implications for her family as her father ended up taking his own life. Sandhya explained:
“He could not bear the fact that my marriage broke. He did not know the way ahead.”
She took her intermediate second-year exams at Osmania University and achieved 86%. The NGO heard about the results and it’s president Achyuta Rao happily said:
“When Sandhya’s parents planned her marriage, they even forced her not to write her second paper of SSC final examination.
“But with a lot of determination, she finished her SSC exams. We appeal to the government to extend her help for her studies.”
Now aged nineteen, Sandhya hopes to get a job as a banker and buy a new house for her mother. She is also open to becoming a civil servant.
Following the completion of her exam, she is two years from becoming the first generation graduate in her family.
Sandhya shared what she thought was going to happen shortly after her father’s death:
“My father’s death forced my elder brother to drop out of college and work, so my fate was something similar.”
She also mentioned her plans for the future to the Deccan Chronicle:
“I wish to continue my studies to fulfil my dream of working in a bank.
“I appeal to the government to help me in my further studies as my mother cannot afford it.
“I want the government to create more awareness against child marriage and save more child brides like me so that girls like me can stand on their own feet and take care of their parents without depending on anyone.”