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My Childhood My Right

Campaign on Prevention of Child Marriage

Unicef's Youth Champion led pilot campaign in Purulia and Malda districts of West Bengal, 2011

বাংলা : This page contains Indic text to help users searching in Bengali. It may be unreadble in your browser without rendering support.

Child Marriage in India has been recognised as a social problem since the early 1900s, but even nearly a century later, despite stringent legislation, almost half of the girls in India were found to be married off as children!

Then, in 2009, a few very young teenagers defied tradition to stand up for their right to childhood. They stubbornly refused to get married off, and made sure they went to school instead. Rekha Kalindi, Sunita Mahato, and Afsana Khatun's revolt against child marriage created ripples throughout India, and is today considered revolutionary. They inspired many others to stand up for what is right, and together they demonstrated that young people have the power to transform society.

This campaign was inspired by these brave young people. At the centre of this campaign were Youth Champions - young change agents identified by Unicef through their network of schools.

The campaign strategy was train hundreds of Youth Champions through workshops, empower them to engage other community stakeholders in conversation, while simultaneously running a public visibility campaign on the issue.

In this page
Peer Booklet | Posters | Banners | Wall Paintings | Hoardings

Youth Champion's Booklet

Picture Activity Book, 8" square, 40 pages

This Picture and Activity booklet was a take-home for the young participants, handed out at the end of the workshop. It has been designed to summarise the key issues covered; including aspects of law, discussions around the prevailing attitudes and practices, and ideas on how the Youth Champions can continue the dialogue in their own communities.

Download English + Bengali
Youth Champion's Booklet

My Childhood My Right Youth Champion's Booklet


17 x 22"

Several posters were designed for different uses. The first, on "Child Marriage Prevalence in West Bengal and India", was disseminated amongst local organisations and government departments in the early stages of the campaign.

A set of 4 posters, on What key stakeholders Can Do to prevent Child Marriage, were designed for use at schools, panchayat and block offices, police stations and local NGO's. These were disseminated at a later stage.

Download English + Bengali
Child Marriage Prevalence (pdf 330 KB)
Who can do What; set of 4(pdf, 2 MB)

my childhood my right posters


4 x 5' printed on outdoor display media

These "oversized outdoor posters" were designed for display at a few semi-protected sites like schools and panchayat offices. The Stakeholders banner (blue one on the right) was also used during workshops for participants to fill in locally relevant information (e.g. names and contact information) before putting up at a visible place within the community. They were also printed disseminated as regular sized paper posters.

banner 1

banner 2

Download English + Bengali
My Childhood My Right Banners
set of 2 (pdf, 2 MB)


Wall Paintings

variable sizes, locally hand painted on available walls

A series of wall paintings were used to announce local help lines and for added visibility.

my childhood my right wall painting

wall painting 1
আমার শৈশব আমার অধিকার
my childhood my right
বাল্য বিবাহ রুখবে কে? আমরা সবাই, আবার কে
Who'll stop child marriages? All of us, who else!


10 x 20' printed on outdoor media

Hoardings were among the first visible components of the campaign, and they were designed to create a positive and assertive environment for activities that followed. They feature young women speaking up in their own voices to set the tone for Youth Champion led activities.

The girls in the photos were selected to represent a range of cultural, socioeconomic and age groups. Most of the girls are Youth Resource Cell members associated with community work on gender issues or child marriage. The material were also tested in their communities. The girls were explained how there picture would be used, permission for this was sought from them and their parents.

The campaign tag line in Bengali translates roughly to "No Marriage Now"; however this does not capture the colloquial ease of the original language.

hoarding 1

No Marriage Now
I shall not stay behind. The laws of the country are on my side, I just need your help
এখন বিয়ে নয়
আর পিছিয়ে থাকব না, দেশের আইন আমার সঙ্গে আছে, শুধু তোমার সাহায্য চাই!

hoarding 2

No Marriage Now
I need confidence, so I need education. Then I can take responsibility for my own safety
এখন বিয়ে নয়
আত্মবিশ্বাস চাই, তাই শিক্ষা চাই
তবেই নিজের সুরক্ষা নিজের হাতে নিতে পারব!

hoarding 3

No Marriage Now
First I shall stand on my own feet. Believe in me, and I'll prove myself
এখন বিয়ে নয়
আগে নিজের পায় দাড়াবো
আমার ওপর বিশ্বাস রাখ, করে দেখাবো!

hoarding 4

No Marriage Now
I want to be big (respectable). My parents will proudly say - this is our daughter!
এখন বিয়ে নয়
অনেক বড় হতে চাই, মা বাবা খুব গর্ব করে বলবে
এই আমাদের মেয়ে


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