Chandrika’s Story – Stories From the Field

Chandrika is 12 years old and studies in 9th class at Adarsh Vidalaya High School.  She has an older brother.  Like many older brothers, Candrika’s brother liked to boss her around, make fun of her, chase her and her friends, and get her in trouble with their parents whenever he could.  Chandrika never knew what to do or say to get her brother to stop mistreating her.  All of her friend’s brothers seemed to act the same way towards them so she thought it would just always be that way.

Then during VOICE camp Chandrika went on a field trip to a women’s run police station in Hyderabad.  The Police Commissioner talked to all the campers about what it is like to be a woman and a police officer, how she balances having a job and a family, as well as the laws that exist to protect women, domestic abuse laws, laws against child marriage, etc. At the end of the day the Police Commissioner gave all of the girls her personal cell phone number and told them to use her and the police station as a resource to stay safe and healthy.

Later that week when Chandrika’s got home from camp her brother started chasing her and shoving her.  Chandrika thought back to what the Police Commissioner had said and for the first time she stood up to her brother, telling him that he was breaking the law and she had the Police Commissioner’s  phone number and would not hesitate to call the police on him.  Her brother was so shocked that he froze in his tracks and left her alone.

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