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Meet education activist Anju Verma who impressed HRD Minister

17-year-old Anju Verma is a social activist, TEDx speaker, and runs an NGO, Bulland Udaan, which fights for the rights of children. She was recently featured by HRD ministry in its list of #Fearlessfemales – The Young Ones, during its campaign, #SheInspiresUs. HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ also felicitated the teenager for her work in the field of education.

From past five years, Anju has been working tirelessly to eliminate child labour from her village, Fatehabad in Haryana, and motivate villagers to allow their child to pursue education. So far, she has helped enroll around 700 children in schools in her district. Her NGO, Bulland Udaan has successfully prevented 40 child marriages, intervened in 15 sexual- harassment cases, etc.

Bulland Udaan was born in 2014 when Anju was only 12-years-old. At her school, she noticed that some of her female schoolmates would often get punished by teachers for not doing their homework. When she asked them the reason, she was shocked to hear their tales. “Their parents would make them work so much that they never had enough time to complete the homework. Whenever they opened their books, their parents would shout at them and say, ‘Who will complete the household work?'” she writes on her website.  This is when she decided to do something about it. Supported by her school, village sarpanch, anganwadi workers, she and her friends went door-to-door and managed to convince parents of hundreds of children to send them to school.

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