Rita Kumari Mahato, Siraha

Rita Kumari Mahato was just 14 years old and studying in grade 7, when her parents decided to get her married. It was such a time when marrying a girl before the start of her menstrual cycle was regarded as a virtue in the society. Having married so young took away Rita’s youth as she became the victim of domestic violence and mental abuse from her in-laws in the name of insufficient dowry. 

After enduring the abuse for years, Rita garnered strength from within and began raising voice against sexual violence in her own community. Now at 42, Rita is respected as a social activist, fighting against child marriage, sexual violence, dowry system and social injustice in her birthplace Lahan, Siraha. She has also been recognized and awarded Prize Per Anger by Amnesty International for protecting democratic values in society. 

Listen to the audio conversation with Aruna Karkee, as Rita Kumari Mahato shares how she finds more satisfaction in helping an elderly person than worshipping a deity and her vision to establish a Sneha Elderly home in her hometown. 

September 15, 2020 | 12:00 PM