Fighting for Juvenile Rights and Children Education, Sarita Rai is giving her Best to make Bihar a Crime-free State

3 January 2019

Sarita Rai - WOC Article Image

 

It is so repulsive to see the pathetic conditions of the children in few Indian states like Bihar, where the status-quo of education is deplorable. Even, the children are used for committing petty thievery, minor crimes, and other odd jobs. The rural societies there do not have any concern for the womenfolk. Girls and woman are raped, molested and abused constantly, while the authorities choose to stay mute. Revolting against all such societal vices, Sarita Rai and her initiative Udaan has transformed several innocent lives in the slum areas of Bihar.

Sarita was born in Arunachal Pradesh. Her father was a forest officer there. After that, she came to Bihar and completed her graduation in Law from Patna. Soon after shifting to Bihar, she saw the worst faces of illiteracy and fraudulent certificate issuing scams.

When it comes to the girls in Bihar; their parents are not much bothered about their better education. Few girls do not even know the name of their college or in which class they are actually studying. They do not attend the classroom sessions and just go for appearing exams; and that too, they pass by cheating.

However, Sarita offered those girls free classes to make them aware of the importance of education along with the health and hygiene awareness education. Her study point Udaan began in this way.

 

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She wasn’t supported by the people whose children she wanted to educate. According to the parents, they just want to earn and make their children earn even, irrespective of the fair or unfair means; just for arranging their means of sustenance. Even if a girl is raped there, the parents keep their mouth shut in fear of their family’s reputation, not bothering once what the girl has gone through all the while. They are even ignorant of the fact that rape is a criminal offence. Changing this kind of mindset of the people was extremely difficult for Sarita in the beginning.

She even tried to help in admitting girls to schools. By making the girls aware of the social vices and the right to education, Sarita is empowering the womenfolk. Sarita also works on behalf of the Bihar government for the juveniles. The money which she gets from the government is spending on her study point Udaan. There are total eight members in the Udaan group.

She describes Udaan’s objective as, “Fight for child education in Bihar”. The education level in Bihar is extremely poor. As mentioned above, the children in Bihar are used as assets; people do not even bother to empower such children and they make these poor kids do odd jobs which lead them to the pathway of heinous crimes unknowingly. They lure the children with money or food, then they are used according. This has also led to an increased number of crimes against the children in the city, including child abuse and molestation.

 

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The children who commit crimes, knowingly or unknowingly are taken into custody. The children complete their sentences while the main criminal behind the scene enjoys their own life. Sarita’s work involves bailing such juveniles as early as possible and make them more aware, civilized and educated. There are several incidences when the children unwantedly commit crimes like murder. In such cases, the juveniles are highly affected mentally.

Sarita was awarded the Aparjita Award and the Guru Samman Award from Prabhat Khabar. Sarita’s proudest achievement is when she is able to bail out the juveniles. Nothing could make her happier than seeing the children going home.

Sarita holds high views regarding women empowerment.

She says that “Woman are already empowered, but they do not realize it. It is high time for women to realize who they actually are.”

Her volunteers and her mother are her biggest support, with whose dedication she has been able to touch the lives of numerous underprivileged and juvenile kids. Her husband who is himself an advocate helps in all the legal matters of those children.

Her Life Mantra, “Help others as much as you can. Never let the bulb of humanity to dim within yourself”

In all these years, the journey has not at all been easy for Sarita as she had to fight with people to seek justice for the juveniles, to make the girls educated, to change the stubborn mindset of the people. She has broken the stereotyped mentality of the people. Coming up from all the difficulties and contributing towards the literacy of children is something which badges Sarita as the “Woman of Courage”.

 

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