NUHA Writing Competition: Let Me Be a Girl, Not A Bride

If you’ve been reading my earlier posts, you’ll know about my plans to submit an essay for the NUHA Foundation Blogging Prizes Writing Competition. I’m finally done! You can vote for my essay by liking or commenting below my essay on their website:

http://www.nuhafoundation.org/home/bloggingprizes_english/youth/let_me_be_a_girl_not_a_bride#.WZ0zOPojHIV

It’s an essay centred on the issue of child marriage, a practice which isn’t the first thing that crosses our minds when we think of the word ‘problems’ in the developed world. It’s not the type of issue that gets flashed in the media as much as the generalised poverty or terrorism. But we should think about how these bigger crises can affect our little girl children (amongst whom I could have been, being a young girl) in a very big, painful way. Here’s an excerpt:

“Imagine if your parents mentioned marriage to you when you barely knew what marriage meant. Imagine if they called you a burden, told you to forget school, tore you apart from your family and allowed a man three times your age to lay his hands on you. Like a lamb to the slaughter, you’re dolled up with henna, forced into wedding clothes and into rituals believed to bring “joy” in married life. But the reality? A lifetime shackled to the path of untold anguish, trauma and slavery.

This is the plight of the girl who is forced into marriage when she is under the age of 18; the devastating plight of potentially 142 million girls in the next decade, as per the data provided by the NGO Girls Not Brides. Our voices are their only hope for change…”

Click the link above if you want to read the whole essay! Any support (see above) would be spreading awareness and helping my writing be shortlisted for the prizes.

My Thoughts Now, and Looking Forward

Am I happy with this piece? I think I have many quality arguments, and some of them are reasonably original – e.g. preventable deaths, child marriage doesn’t actually protect girls, men use their young brides as a way to release their mental torment. I think my subject is relatively easy, however. If I could do it again I would tackle more intricate topics, that require careful argument to prove your opinion better.

I’ve always felt that I should try and use my aptitude for English to help someone, in ways that resonate with me. I know I’m not the type of person who can engineer infrastructure for the needy or deliver practical help on-ground. I can however, thanks to today’s advancements, sit behind a desk and express away…for the world’s betterment. That’s pretty powerful, I think.

Feel free to leave a comment below critiquing my work! 

Keep going the write way, 

Shreya

 

 

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