Child marriage Prevention is an important issue, RFP Nepal together with RFP International andACRP thought of giving further continuity on it. We decided to do a street drama in Saptari.
We contacted a production company who had an ample experience in conducting such street dramas and also visualizing films. We asked them for a script which was later approved by a program officer in UNICEF, Ms. Sanju Bhattarai. She was kind enough to listen to our script and give us her valuable suggestions.Our story had a positive spin to it, instead of highlighting the victim’s tragic story we decided to show how the life can change positively if the child was given the right opportunity to study and not forced into child marriage. The UNICEF’s program officer thought the positive spin on the story was good, she also said we should also mention how adversely child marriage also affects boy’s life. So we also thought of a male character showing his issues and problems that he had
to face by marrying early, the financial burden etc. Besides the female issues will be prominently highlighted as well. She also said that duration of the video should be long enough to engage the viewers. We should give the audience the time to settle down first and then comfortably let them grasp what is being shown.
Finally on December 30th of 2018, the street drama was performed in Bhediya, Saptari. It was viewed by around 150 locals. We had also conducted a survey on how they liked the drama,what it was about etc, it included the following questionnaire:
- How do you like the drama?
- What was the drama all about?
- What is the correct age to get married?
- How bad can happen if you marry early?
- Who were your favorite characters in the play?
- If the main character had been married early, what are the consequences she might had to face?
- Any other suggestions?
We also have a Hindu priest and an Islamic priest to put their views at the end of the video.
We have also visualized the street drama. We have a longer and shorter versions of it. The longer version is about 16 minutes and the shorter version is about 7mins long. In order for the drama to be effective for the viewers to grasp the concept, the length should be longer but for the general viewing people may not have the patience to sit through entire 15 mins long so we thought of having two versions.
They have backed up the fact that child marriage should end and shouldn’t be encouraged.
We have uploaded the video on YouTube.YouTube Link to the video:
Nepal has the third highest rate of child marriage in Asia, we are trying to make a difference tochange this scenario. We have started with our small steps and we are hopeful to make a big difference.