What do you think of when you think back to being a child? Does your mind take you back to your mother tying your hair back in tight pigtails? Are you suddenly nostalgic while thinking about the time you would head out with your gang to play cricket? As great as many of our childhoods may have been, not everyone can afford to have the same luxuries.
One way in which the innocence of childhood may be taken away is through child marriages.
Child marriages are seldom talked about in Pakistan. However, 21% girls in Pakistan are married under the age of 18, according to UNICEF. Therefore, it becomes necessary to advocate for those who fall within that 21%.
According to the Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey, 1 in 10 girls is either pregnant or has already given birth between the ages of 15 and 19. Moreover, a UNICEF report stated that 17-year-old pregnant girls are at a 60% higher risk of death than those who are more than 19 years of age.
It is thus that Elaj Trust came forward to tackle the very same issue. They captured the entire mindset that promotes child marriages and provided a brilliant retort backed with a painful truth.
Watch the following video to grasp the understanding of what they’re trying to convey:
"Pakistan will be free in real terms when our daughters are free to choose their future" #IlmSayElaj – Public Service Message by Elaj on #ChildMarriageSupport Elaj Trust to help us do adovacy and awareness for mother and child heatlhwww.elajtrust.org/donateDirector: Mansha PashaAsst. Director: Nadir ShahzadScreenplay: Mohammad Jibran Nasir – OfficialDir. of Photography: Salik Abbasi and Salar YousufzaiCast: Ashiq Ahmed, Arshiya, Salma ShaheenEditor: Sourath Behan Audio Engineer: Mohammad AliGraphics: Amna Abbas Makeup: JosephineSpotboy: AliSpecial thanks to: Azad Films, Gizri Maternity Hospital
Posted by ELAJ on Donnerstag, 10. August 2017
Talking to MangoBaaz about the video, Mohammad Jibran Nasir, who is curating the project, had the following to say:
“We aren’t trying to lecture the audience. Nor did we wish to show one gender as the villain. Often, men are portrayed as the antagonists. But the fact is that to help women get their rights, we need to educate our men as well. We portrayed a father who has lost his wife because she was married to him early and conceived too soon. It’s about the father taking a stance for his daughter so that she does not go through the same.”
Jibran thanked all the organizations who came together to help with the initiative. Moreover, he talked about how imperative it is to raise awareness to start to bring about change.
It’s honestly uplifting to know that such issues are being targetted and highlighted. If we don’t help preserve the innocence of our children and take away such basic rights, we only inflict damage upon ourselves.
What do you think about this initiative? Let us know in the comments below.
Cover image: Elaj Trust