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A 19-year-old girl fell in love with her classmate. Some years later, they decided to marry. When the boy informed his family about their plan, his parents declined the proposal citing that the girl belonged to a different caste.  

The family pressurised the boy to ditch the girl. As he didn't listen to them, they decided to leave the village and migrate to another place. Upon knowing that the man she wanted to marry was no longer living in the village,  the girl found herself in a state of shock. There were none to counsel her. She could not deal with it on her own. Ultimately, the girl developed some mental illness. One day she fell into a trap of a sexual pervert. She became pregnant. Soon after she delivered a baby, her family, in the name of ‘preserving the family honor’, married her off to another man.

The woman with her child at her home in Udayapur. © UNFPA Nepal

She could not cope with new life. Two months later, she returned to her parental home with her child. Her mental problem relapsed. The One-Stop Crisis Management Centre (OCMC) at the Udayapur District Hospital in Gaighat, knew about her condition. The district representative of the OCMC took her to the centre. The OCMC found that she needed a psychiatrist, thus referred her to Kathmandu. Her treatment continued for nine months. According to Ambika Magar, Case Manager at the OCMC, she didn't talk to anyone for around two months. "Now she is in a normal condition. However, she requires medication throughout her life. The Udayapur District Hospital and the OCMC are providing her free medicines."

Her 10-year-old son is in Grade 3 and has been offered with a full scholarship. She has been provided with two goats to help her generate income. "After going through a lot of hardships in my life, I have got a new lease of life," she said. 

“The OCMC worked with authorities concerned to provide her with a citizenship certificate and register her son's birth. The Ward Office has pledged all support,” said Magar. Her mother is delighted that her daughter is now living a peaceful life. “We could not understand the gravity of the issue then. Now that she has recovered, we are so happy about it. We will provide with her a piece of land for her livelihood once she acquires her citizenship certificate," said her mother.

— By Ishwari Balampiki Magar, Udayapur

[Udayapur was one of the districts where the Gender Based Violence Prevention and Response Project Phase I, supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and UNFPA was implemented between 2016-2020. The OCMC mentioned in the story was supported by SDC and UNFPA. This story is translated from the book in Nepali -- 'Pharkiyeka Khusi'-- that profiles some women and girls supported by the project.]