Priya was married at age 18 to a man that was 20 years her senior. Her family had saved up during her growing years to be able to provide a dowry that would be enough for a suitable husband, but still had to take out a loan to pay for the lavish gifts that Priya’s husband and family demanded. After the wedding, she moved with her husband to the city, away from her family and friends.
Soon after they arrived in the city, her husband started demanding that she ask her family for more money. She tried to explain to him that she did not come from a wealthy family, and that the wedding had been quite expensive for them. That’s when he began the abuse. He would beat her, whip her with a belt and pull her hair. He called her worthless, said that she would never amount to anything and threatened to abandon her. Priya didn’t know what to do. She knew that her family could not afford to send more money, yet her husband kept demanding that she ask. Priya confided in her sister over the phone but asked her not to tell anyone about the abuse. Her sister immediately informed the entire family that Priya was in danger.
Priya’s father came to the city to rescue his daughter and take her back home for good. Back home, after a few months, she was approached by an Educate Girls employee who was recruiting in her village for Team Balika members. Priya jumped at the chance. She was determined to move forward and do something with her life. She saw becoming a Team Balika as a way to prove to herself, and to everyone else, that she was not worthless and that she could make a name for herself.
Priya now volunteers her time getting the girls of her village enrolled in school and making sure they’re learning well. She encourages the women in her community to speak up against abuse. Many girls who cannot meet the dowry demands of their marital families are beaten and even killed. Priya is thankful that her family supported her and rescued her before it was too late.